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Software developers get access to Vista virtual platforms

20 Feb 2015

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Altera, in collaboration with Mentor Graphics, announced that software developers can now access the Vista virtual platforms that support Altera's entire field programmable gate array (FPGA) SoC portfolio, including its third-generation 14nm Stratix 10 system-on-chips (SoCs) with a 64bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor.

The Mentor Graphics Vista SoC virtual platforms are pre-built, fully functional simulation models of the ARM processor sub-systems 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 64bit ARMv8-based processor sub-system well before first silicon availability.

Additionally, 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 that models an Altera SoC FPGA.

These virtual platforms are comprised of 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. In addition, 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 a seamless 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.

Through the collaboration between Altera and Mentor Graphics, all SoC virtual platforms will be available for download from the Mentor Graphics website.




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