Simulation deal accelerates ARM v8 64bit software development

February 12, 2013 // By Nick Flaherty
Synopsys is extending its software development tools to speed the development of ARMv8 64bit big.LITTLE systems with new virtual prototyping kits.

The Virtualizer Development Kits (VDKs) use virtual prototypes as the embedded target so that software teams can start development of software for ARMv8-based system-on-chip designs up to 12 months before boards are available, accelerating operating system bring-up as well as firmware, device driver and middleware development.
Alongside its traditional 32bit instruction set, ARMv8 introduced AArch64, a power-optimized 64bit instruction set and execution state for future generations of mobile, consumer, networking and enterprise SoCs. Synopsys VDKs include support for AArch64, offering visibility and controllability to accelerate the development and debug of software running on ARMv8 architecture compliant processors. This enables developers to optimize software for product performance and energy efficiency.
The VDK Family for ARMv8 Processors comes pre-configured with reference virtual prototypes that incorporate models of ARMv8 processors such as the Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53, as well as big.LITTLE configurations and models of Synopsys' DesignWare interface IP. Synopsys VDKs also provide support for Linux software stacks as a starting point for developing actual product software.
"When companies adopt the Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors based upon the ARMv8 architecture, they gain access to a robust ecosystem of 64bit software and development tools," said John Cornish , executive vice president of the system design division at ARM. "The VDK Family for ARMv8 Processors from Synopsys integrates ARM Fast Model technology to give software developers an efficient platform to support early code development and analysis."
Synopsys' VDKs offer a plug-and-play integration with the most popular software debuggers and facilitate a broad range of software development use cases to meet the needs of semiconductor companies' own software developers as well as those at their customers and partners. The new VDKs include multicore software debug and analysis tools, reference software stacks and ARMv8 processor-based reference designs to provide an out-of-the-box software development platform. In addition, companies can customize these designs with the Virtualizer tool set to represent their specific ARMv8 SoCs. The VDKs also allow software engineers