Virtio's VPDA295 Software Development Platform Empowers Audio Designers

3/10/2005 - Virtio Corporation, the creator of Virtual Platforms for embedded software development, has released a software development model for the Texas Instruments' (TI) TMS320DA295 portable audio playback processor. The VPDA295 Virtual Platform, which features fast, full-function emulation of TI's recently introduced device, provides developers with the ability to develop and test their software without waiting for hardware availability. In addition, the VPDA295 platform gives developers insight into and control of software execution that are impossible on the hardware platform.

TI engineers, who used the platform in developing the evaluation board support software for the device, have validated the accuracy of the VPDA295 platform. "We had to begin testing software before the device even entered tape-out," stated TI's Portable Audio and Infotainment business manager Chris Schairbaum. "The Virtual Platform was invaluable in helping us get the software ready in time for the hardware release."

Filip Thoen, chief technology officer for Virtio stated, "If one of TI's OEMs misses the market window for consumer products, it could mean a loss of more than $100 million. Customer experience demonstrates a productivity improvement of 2x to 5x compared to traditional development practices. The Virtio VPs take simulation to a level software developers need in terms of speed and capability. The ability to run and test full system software without waiting for hardware availability gets products to market faster and improves the difficult task of embedded software development and integration."

Virtual Platforms give software developers a function-level model that can boot an operating system and run application code long before hardware becomes available, speeding new system software development. In addition, Virtio's Virtual I/O technology allows the connection of external hardware such as Ethernet ports, microphones and speakers to the platform through the host PC, so software can be evaluated in a full system configuration. The platform can also simulate peripherals such as the MMC modules that contain the program code.

The VPDA295 platform runs as C-code on a host PC. It is able to execute fast enough to provide real-time processing for audio. This speed, coupled with the ability to connect external hardware to the platform, allows system software developers to play sound files aloud, letting them evaluate their code's performance both with test instruments and by ear.

Because it is a simulation, the VPDA295 platform gives developers full insight into and control of the dual-core device's internal operations. This control includes the ability to examine and change internal registers that are inaccessible to outside hardware. In addition, the platform allows full control of software execution in both processor cores simultaneously. Hardware debuggers can only control one processor at a time, so if one processor halts on a software breakpoint, the other continues executing code. This can complicate software debugging and mask the interactions between the two cores. The VPDA295 platform eliminates such restrictions.

The VPDA295 platform supports the most common software development tools so developers do not need to change their procedures when creating code. Virtio has integrated the platform with popular tools such as TI's Code Composer Studio as well as Lauterbach's TRACE32. In addition, Virtio and TI have tested the platform against TI's validation suites and OS board support packages to ensure complete compatibility.

Pricing and Availability
Available immediately, Virtio's VPDA295 Virtual Platform costs $2,488 USD for a single-user license. Additional information is available at, and evaluation copies of the platform are online at

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

Virtio is a trademark of Virtio Corp.

North American Sales Contact: Virtio Corporation, 1688 Dell Avenue, Suite 210, Campbell, CA 95008, Tel: 408-341-0844, Fax: 408-341-0849, Email: International Distributors: SDC Systems Limited in the UK at +44 (0)1462 473953; Sightsys, Ltd. in Israel at +972-3-9222771; Toyo Corporation, Ltd. in Japan at +81 (0) 3-3279-0771; MDS Technology Company, Ltd. in Korea at +82-2-2106-6072; and CMI Technologies, Inc. in Taiwan at 886 (-2) 23516362 or SuperLink Technology Corporation at 886 2 26983456.

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