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November 12, 2012

Tech Focus

Hardware/software codesign with virtual prototyping

ARM-based Android hardware-software design using virtual prototypes - Part 1: Why virtualize?

Android hardware-software design using virtual prototypes - Part 2: Building a sensor subsystem

Virtual prototype codesign of a mobile phone platform

Is virtual prototyping "in-the-loop" for automotive?

Virtually broken


Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor
Embedded.com
bccole@acm.org
Read his blog

Beginning as far back as the year 2000 in "Taking system design to a higher level," Embedded.com has maintained an on-going interest in the use of virtual prototyping platforms to simplify the integration of the hardware and software of embedded systems designs. Then it was a methodology only used in extreme cases when chip integration densities were still moving in on one micron geometries. Now, as system-on chip designs are closing in on 10 nanometers, virtual system prototyping of hardware and software has become a necessity in many embedded designs.

Illustrating the power virtual prototyping is a three-part series concluding this week on Embedded.com: Part 1 "ARM-based Android hardware-software design using virtual prototypes," in which Achim Nohl describes how to use the Synopsys Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) to do early prototyping. He also explains how to do full software integration of handset hardware in the context of the Android software platform. In Part 2, Nohl describes "Building a sensor subsystem." Part 3 on integrating Android's HAL will be available later this week. Of the many recent design articles, technical papers and webinars included here that delve even deeper into the use of virtual system prototyping, my Editor's Top Picks are:

How to make virtual prototyping better than designing with hardware
Exploring Multicore Power Management with Modeling and Simulation
Leveraging virtual hardware platforms for embedded software validation

For additional insight, be sure to read some of the recent technical journal and conference papers on such topics as the use of virtual prototyping of mobile devices, embedded signal processing systems, and multicore system performance analysis.


Development

ARM-based Android hardware-software design using virtual prototypes - Part 1: Why virtualize?

In the first in a three part Product How-To series on virtual prototyping, Achim Nohl describes how to use the Synopsys Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) to do early prototyping. He also explains how to do full software integration of handset hardware in the context of the Android software platform.

Android hardware-software design using virtual prototypes - Part 2: Building a sensor subsystem

In the second of a three-part series of articles on virtual prototyping, Achim Nohl explains how to use the Synopsys Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) and describes the hardware/software integration flow for a sensor subsystem for use in an Android mobile device.

The many uses of an intelligent capacitive swipe-switch

In this Product How-To design article, Nicky de Jager and Gerrit Avenant of Azoteq investigate the possibilities of capacitive touch technology in the design of alternatives to electromechanical switches. They explain the challenges of such designs and detail how the company's patented SwipeSwitch technology deals with them.

How virtual prototypes aid SoC hardware design

Virtual prototypes have traditionally been seen as tools for system architects and software engineers. This article addresses the benefits that virtual prototypes may offer hardware designers as well.

Using virtual system prototyping to evaluate VME hardware platform alternatives

Deepak Shankur explains how early performance analysis and architecture exploration can be used by board and systems designers to evaluate hardware configuration tradeoffs and VME bus alternatives.

System level software centric power debugging using virtual prototypes

Achim Nohl of Synopsys describes how Virtual Prototypes (VPs) provide all the necessary elements for a debug solution that can spot and remove power related defects from software.

How to make virtual prototyping better than designing with hardware: Part 1

This series of articles analyzes the benefits of virtual prototyping in embedded systems design with a particular focus on its usefulness after physical prototype is available for software, systems, and verification engineers. Part 1: The use cases for virtual prototyping.

Leveraging virtual hardware platforms for embedded software validation

A hybrid approach to configuring a virtual hardware platform enables developers to explore all facets of the system long before it's built.

Virtual prototyping gives embedded developers flexibility in a changing consumer environment

Today's typical advanced wireless-enabled embedded product -- whether it is a mobile phone, a connected consumer device such as a gaming platform or a Zigbee/RFID-enabled industrial controller -- needs a wide variety of intellectual-property (IP) blocks to provide the functionality demanded by the market.

Exploring Multicore Power Management with Modeling and Simulation

How to use Mirabilis Design's VisualSim to model and provide accurate results and the task/power efficiency metrics for multicore designs running at different clock speeds with completely different power algorithms.

Accelerating Architecture Exploration for FPGA Selection and System Design

Deepak Shankur explains how early performance analysis and architecture exploration helps embedded designers select the right FPGA platform and achieve optimal partitioning of the application onto the fabric and software.


Products

ARM and NXP Launch mbed to Enable Rapid Prototyping with Microcontrollers

ARM and NXP launch mbed online tools to enable rapid prototyping

Virtual prototype platform works with Freescale i.MX31 processor

Virtio has teamed with Freescale to model several of Freescale's processor platforms for cellular convergence applications, including the i.MX31.

Altera's functional safety data package reduces certification risks

Altera Corporation has released an updated version of its functional safety data package for automotive, industrial, medical and defense applications.

Ericsson's Digital Power Software Tool optimizes energy management

Ericsson's DC/DC Digital Power Designer is an advanced toolkit that provides board-power designers with highly advanced software to configure, implement, and monitor power conversion devices.


Industry

Tektronix brings software-based debug to ASIC/FPGA prototyping

Claiming a revolution in ASIC prototyping, Tektronix's Certus 2.0 software-based debug methodology brings RTL simulation-level visibility to multi-FPGA prototypes eliminating most recompiles for faster, more efficient debug.

Tool integration provides virtual prototyping solution

National Instruments and Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp., are collaborating on a mechatronics tool that helps mechanical and control engineers work together to lower the cost and risk of motion system design.

Space Codesign releases new HW/SW co-design tools

Space Codesign Systems releases Version 2.4 ESL design tool for Hardware/Software co-design with new support for asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP).

Imperas debuts Cortex-A15/R4 Fast Processor Models

Imperas has released its models of the ARM Cortex-A15, Cortex-R4, Cortex-R4F and ARM1176 processor cores.

Imperas adds Cortex-M models to its OVP

Imperas has released its first models of the Cortex family of processor cores from ARM with models of the M-series of cores added to the Open Virtual Platforms (OVP).

New Hercules™ RM4x ARM® Cortex™-R4 microcontrollers help you create a robust, safe motor control design. Pin-compatible with existing Hercules RM4 devices, the new MCUs feature expanded motor control capabilities, on-chip Ethernet, CAN and USB connectivity, flexible 32-channel coprocessor, and full safety documentation, software and support for easier certification.


Insights

Is virtual prototyping "in-the-loop" for automotive?

Virtual prototyping means different things to different engineers.

Virtual Prototyping Tales

Myth, anecdotes, tips, and opinions around the creation and use of virtual prototypes for embedded software development.

mbed: A strange IDE

IDEs are a pain to install and configure. Till now.

Virtually broken

In week one of working with a prototype board during a study of Android's performance, this expert in virtual prototyping has broken the board. What happened? Nohl starts his new blog on virtual prototyping.


Collections on Embedded.com

Embedded.com now has a series of collections of content by topic. We will continue to add content to our collections and will have a rating system in the near future where you can rate your favorite articles (and help others find them). To suggest new collections or to suggest content to add to a collection, contact Susan Rambo, managing editor.

New collection:

Virtual prototyping

Browse the collections:

A sampling of topics include:
Agile programming
Algorithms
Digital signal processing
Embedded vision
Hardware description languages
Multicore
PID control
Watchdog timers


TechOnline Library

Tech Papers

Hardware-Aware Virtual Prototyping

Virtual Prototyping Benefits in Safety-Critical Automotive Systems

Debugging SuperSpeed USB Software Using Virtual Prototypes

ARM Core-Based System Verification with Virtual Prototypes

Fast Virtual Prototyping for Early Software Design and Verification

Debugging Embedded Software Using Virtual Prototypes

Webinars & Courses

Debugging with Virtual Prototypes: How to not skip a beat when using Synopsys Virtualizer and Lauterbach TRACE32

SoC FPGA Virtual Target: A Virtual Prototyping Application

Bringing Up and Optimizing Software Power Management Using Virtual Prototyping

Rapid Prototype & Development of USB Connected Devices Using mbed and LPCXpresso™


Resources

Around the Network Events

Virtual prototype codesign of a mobile phone platform

TLM-based virtual prototyping of embedded HW/SW Systems

Virtual prototyping and analysis of two memory architectures

Virtual prototyping of embedded signal processing apps

MPSoC Performance Analysis with Virtual Prototype Platforms



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Conferences and Events

ESC Silicon Valley at DESIGN West
Registration now open.
Early bird pricing available until Dec. 21:

Save $800 on all access pass if you sign-up for Embedded Systems Conference 2013 now. ESC 2013 is part of DESIGN West, being held April 22 to 25, 2013 at the McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, CA.

For more industry events, visit Embedded.com's event page.



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