The Altera® SoC Virtual Target is a fast functional simulation of a dual-core ARM® CortexTM-A9 MPCoreTM embedded processor development system. This complete prototyping tool, which models a real development board, runs on a PC and boots the Linux operating system out of the box. Designed to be binary- and register-compatible with the real hardware that it simulates, the Virtual Target enables the development of device-specific, production software that can run unmodified on real hardware.
Virtual prototyping tools are preferred for software development because of their added level of full-system visibility and control. Using a virtual prototyping tool, you can jump start your software development well in advance of hardware availability, make your software team more productive, and improve your software quality.
To fully represent Altera's SoC devices, the Virtual Target also features an FPGA extension to the PC-based simulation called FPGA-in-the-loop. FPGA-in-the-loop allows the Virtual Target to interface to an Altera off-the-shelf FPGA development board, where you can implement your custom intellectual property (IP) and co-execute it with the other components of the Virtual Target that runs on the PC. This allows you to test your software with FPGA hardware such as custom peripherals and hardware accelerators.
Figure 1 shows the Virtual Target with the optional FPGA-in-the-loop.
Figure 1. Virtual Target with Optional FPGA-in-the-Loop
Key Features and Benefits of the Altera SoC Virtual Target
- Proven technology – Virtual prototyping tools are industry-proven solutions that enable pre-silicon software development and shorten time to market. Many successful semiconductor companies, including Altera, are using virtual prototyping tools based on the Synopsys Innovator Platform.
- Ready to use – The Virtual Target is a pre-built, fully functional simulation model of a complete embedded system that runs out of the box. You need no prior modeling or simulation experience. The Virtual Target works with your existing software tools, such as GDB, TRACE32 from Lauterbach and DS-5 from ARM, and Wind River Workbench.
- Device specific – The code written for the Virtual Target is binary- and register-compatible with the modeled board and can run on both platforms without modification.
- Linux enabled – The Virtual Target comes with a Linux boot image and drivers to support all the major components of the system.
- Fast simulation speed – The Virtual Target is a fast functional simulation that can boot Linux in 20 seconds.
- Full system visibility and control – The Virtual Target allows you to perform tasks that are difficult or impossible on real hardware.
The Virtual Target will functionally model the following Altera development boards:
- Cyclone® V SoC Development Board with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor
- Arria® V SoC Development Board with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor
For more information on the Altera SoC Virtual Target, see the related links below. To download the Advance Information Brief and to inquire about demonstrations, evaluations, and purchasing, please contact your Altera Sales Representative.