Early software development for Altera’s Stratix 10 SoC, in Mentor suite

February 18, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Altera’s Stratix SoC hosts embedded (“hard” ) processors cores; a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53. Altera and Mentor Graphics have collaborated to give embedded software developers access to Vista virtual platforms that support Altera’s entire SoC FPGA portfolio.

The SoC virtual platforms can accelerate embedded software development across the entire product life cycle, the companies say. Mentor’s Vista SoC virtual platforms are pre-built, fully functional simulation models of the ARM processor subsystems featured in each of Altera’s 28nm, 20nm, and 14nm SoC FPGA families. Software developers can use the Stratix 10 SoC virtual platform to start embedded software development and debug for the integrated 64-bit ARMv8-based processor subsystem well before first silicon availability.

SoC virtual platforms simplify embedded software development and reduce the need for expensive hardware by enabling large development teams to perform application development and software regression testing in a virtual environment.

These virtual platforms comprise an Instruction Set Simulator CPU model plus peripheral device models, delivered as a stand-alone binary executable which is downloaded, installed and run together with a pre-built Linux image on a host PC. A model of custom functions in the FPGA fabric can be linked to the virtual platform for system-level simulation. The virtual platforms support both bare-metal and Linux operating system environments and allow software execution and debug on multi-core configurations of Altera’s SoCs.

Basing the SoC virtual platforms on the Mentor Graphics Vista technology provides users with a migration to Mentor’s Vista Virtual Prototyping solutions. The Vista Virtual Prototyping tool suite provides additional insight into hardware/software interaction or non-intrusive profiling and analysis and extends the SoC virtual platforms.

All SoC virtual platforms will be available as a download from the Mentor Graphics web site.

Mentor Graphics; go.mentor.com/altera

Altera; www.altera.com