Imperas Delivers Next Generation Embedded Software Development Suite Based On ToolMorphing Technology

Model and Tool Functions Integrated in Simulation Code Stream Provides High-Performance, Extended Capability and Ease-of-Use Benefits

OXFORD, United Kingdom, May 22nd, 2013 -- Imperas Software Ltd ( www.Imperas.com), a pioneer of advanced embedded software development systems using virtual platforms, today announced the release of its 2nd generation virtual platform development and multicore software design kit product offerings. These new products provide extended development capabilities operating at high performance levels.

The new Developer range and Multicore Software Development Kit products utilize a simulator that leverages a Just-In-Time code morphing mechanism. Imperas’ breakthrough ToolMorphing technology extends this mechanism to generate tool and model code together.

ToolMorphing allows Imperas’ customers to easily build models of their electronic hardware platforms and to integrate existing, industrially proven processor models that include tool and simulation capabilities, adding advanced, unique software development features operating at a high performance level. The entire tool suite is in use at a number of leading customers on real systems.

“The embedded software industry has just started to realize the potential of virtual platforms, and the Imperas approach layers verification knowledge, performance simulation expertise and customer insights to revolutionize the embedded software development process,” noted Simon Davidmann, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Imperas Software. “This new technology is already dramatically reducing our customers’ engineering schedules while increasing their product quality.”

Developer Product Range
The Developer range is focused on building virtual platform models of new or existing hardware platforms and includes a simulator to enable embedded software development to take place often before hardware is available.

Each of the Developer products include:

  • iGen™ model generator, used in the creation of the platform model and the behavioral components that populate the platform. iGen uses TCL as input and outputs C, C++, and SystemC TLM2.0 components.
  • Imperas Model library of 100+ cpu model variants that includes ARM, Imagination MIPS, Power, Synopsys ARC, Cadence Tensilica, Renesas, and others. The Model library also includes many example and reference platforms such as the ARM Integrator, ARM Versatile Express, and MIPS Malta. The library also includes 80+ peripheral components.
  • The Imperas simulator, which executes the platform, peripheral, and CPU models, and allows compiled binaries of bare metal embedded software, embedded operating systems and applications to execute un-modified on virtual platforms, in turn running on desktop PCs.

"We are delighted to be working with Imperas to deliver a high-performance Instruction Accurate (IA) simulation solution for our many MIPS partners,” said Tony King-Smith, EVP of marketing for Imagination Technologies, which recently acquired MIPS Technologies, Inc., and with it the industry-standard MIPS microprocessor architecture. “The performance and capability of the system enables our customers to rapidly produce high-quality code, using features such as Imperas' OVP processor models and M*SDK. This is a clear benefit when facing tight production schedules."

The simulator exhibits extremely high performance. For example, operating on a standard X86 personal computer, a complete virtual platform simulation with a dual core ARM® Cortex™-A9 model can boot a ramdisk version of the Linux operating system in under 5 seconds. The simulator operates with the GNU GDB debugger, and can be used in the Eclipse environment, as well as being included in the Imperas M*SDK™ product.

The Developer range includes 3 products: C*DEV™, S*DEV™, M*DEV™, focusing on Controller, Standard, and Multicore embedded software development.

Unique Embedded Software Development Kit
The Multicore Software Design Kit, M*SDK, product includes all the capabilities of the Developer product, and layers on top a powerful suite of verification, analysis and profiling (VAP™) capabilities, as well as 3Debug™ an advanced multicore debugger that operates across the spatial, temporal and abstraction domains.

"Given the wide variety of customer applications for our SoC FPGAs, our software stacks require rigorous and comprehensive testing.  Imperas' M*SDK has proven to be an outstanding environment for the validation and analysis of operating systems, drivers and firmware,” said Premal Buch, vice president of software for Altera.  "Verification using the Imperas solution not only accelerates software bug discovery, but also provides a rapid understanding of the root cause of problems."

M*SDK includes common embedded software development capabilities, as well as a number of unique features, which accelerate code tuning and debug. These include: Code Coverage, Memory & Cache Analysis, Execution Profiling, Instruction & Function Tracing, Fault Injection, Protocol Verification, Exception & Interrupt Analysis, OS Task Tracing, OS Scheduler Analysis, Memory Protection Verification, and Shared Resource Introspection.

The system is multicore ready, allowing for a heightened level of observability and controllability across specific cores or entire heterogeneous platforms. It also provides CPU- and OS-aware operation, an abstraction that allows the software engineer to work at an appropriate level of analysis without unnecessary hardware detail. The entire system can be customized easily with APIs that allow supported data structure access. This has been utilized to provide a range of specialized checkers and control signaling, as well as complete integration into other environments.

The VAP tools and 3Debug capability have been implemented based on the Imperas ToolMorphing technology, which provides for just the required code for specific tooling to be generated by the simulator. This tight integration between tool and simulated model accelerates operation and makes the system easier to use. In addition, Imperas’ Slipstreamer™ technology is employed in the environment for non-intrusive embedded software operation, ensuring that running the tools in no way affects code execution behavior, while enabling instrumentation free coverage and assertions.

M*SDK has been designed for use in demanding embedded software development and test scenarios. Specific usage examples include multi-Operating System customization, porting and debugging, intensive verification regression environments for products requiring failsafe operation, FPGA platform modeling where the Imperas software tool suite also required integrating into an existing hardware simulation environment, and a range of performance critical embedded software applications where bug scenarios were particularly complex.

"Imperas is launching some very interesting approaches to processor modeling and software testing.  Historically processor models have been used in relatively small numbers, despite their enormous benefits," said Martin Baker, senior manager, ecosystem and business management for the Automotive Business Unit of Renesas Electronics America.  "The Imperas business model has the potential to make processor modeling an affordable approach used widely across the industry."

Pricing and Availability

The Developer range and M*SDK Software Design Kit products are available now. Pricing starts at $3,600 for an annual floating license.

About Imperas

Imperas Software was founded in 2005 to develop and deliver embedded software development systems. The company’s comprehensive product line enables the rapid creation of high-performance virtual platforms and the efficient development of embedded software utilizing those platforms. Imperas’ technology allows for software engineering schedules to be significantly reduced while improving the quality of products relying on embedded systems. In 2008 Imperas founded the Open Virtual Platform (OVP) consortium to improve the availability of open model libraries and virtual platform infrastructure. Leading communications, automotive, consumer electronics and embedded processor companies rely on Imperas for the development of their electronic products. The company’s corporate headquarters is located near Oxford, UK and it maintains support and sales organizations in Silicon Valley, California and Tokyo, Japan. For more information about Imperas, please go to  www.imperas.com.




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