Virtio Empowers Embedded Designers with Cycle-Approximate Simulation

10/25/2005 - Virtio Corporation, creator of Virtual Platforms for embedded software development, extended its Virtual Platform technology to support highly accurate timing analysis in software simulation. Virtio's Virtual Platforms continue to exceed software developers' performance requirements and now delivers cycle-approximate transactional analysis technology and provides a way for embedded software developers to accurately estimate the timing of routines and system software performance. Cycle-approximate transactional modeling and analysis greatly accelerates time-to-market and greatly reduces the need for software redesign and performance tuning.

Virtio's Virtual Platform technology provides a means for simulating the behavior, timing and performance of popular microprocessors such as ARM, Freescale MXC, TI OMAP, Intel XScale, and MIPS. These platforms model embedded processor cores, memory and peripherals, providing developers with a framework for executing and testing code without needing access to hardware. The platform can also connect to real-world peripherals such as camera interfaces and LCDs for full system-level testing. The processor models can execute targeted binaries as well as an operating system and work with compatible debuggers such as Metrowerks CodeWarrior and ARM RealView.

Virtual Platforms also provide software developers with benefits after hardware becomes available. The models allow access to internal registers that cannot be reached in hardware implementations, giving software developers additional insight into software operation. The result is faster system debugging and integration.

"Virtio Virtual Platforms let embedded software designers make critical decisions on software architecture, timing, and even hardware/software partitioning earlier in the development cycle," explained Filip Thoen, chief technical officer of Virtio. "Embedded system architects seeking to improve time-to-market by making the right design decisions earlier now can get more information from the simulation, analyzing architectural tradeoffs and mitigating performance risks."

Cycle-approximate transactional analysis works by determining significant events, such as bus transactions and interrupts, and estimating the number of cycles required to execute those events. These simulations execute much faster than those that adhere strictly to emulating individual system cycles, as performed in cycle-accurate simulations, while maintaining the level of accuracy necessary to provide valuable information for real-time software development and architectural analysis.

"This new cycle-approximate transactional simulation complements Virtio?s existing functional transaction simulation technology and enables system designers to focus on critical areas, such as performance and timing," continued Thoen. "Designers can explore variations of an architecture model, or determine the best way to execute a particular piece of code. One area we see immediate applicability and interest is in wireless modem development for advanced 2.75, 3G & 4G networks, where real-time nature is driving the need for this technology."

With the addition of the cycle-approximate technology Virtio addresses all simulation needs to enable a wide range of development tasks, including non-real time software development, real time software development and architectural analysis and hardware/software and software/software partitioning.

Pricing and Availability
Cycle-approximate technology is offered as a custom service to meet customer's specific requirements, making it possible for design teams to take advantage of its benefits on a project-by-project basis. Virtio's cycle-approximate transactional simulation and analysis starts at $75,000 USD depending on customer's needs and is available immediately.

About Virtio
Virtio powers dramatic gains in software development by delivering early access to fast, full-function and time-sensitive software emulation of embedded devices. Virtio is based in Campbell, California in the U.S.A with development centers at Campbell and the Alba Centre, Livingston, Scotland.

Virtio is a trademark of Virtio Corp.

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