Synopsys is extending its software development tools offering for ARM processor based systems with the VDK Family for ARMv8 Processors. The VDKs (Virtualizer Development Kits) are software development kits using virtual prototypes as the embedded target and by utilising the VDK for ARMv8 processors, software teams can start development of software for ARMv8-based SoC (system on chip) designs up to 12 months prior to board availability.
Alongside its traditional 32-bit instruction set, ARMv8 introduced AArch64, a power optimised 64-bit 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 that will help to accelerate the development and debug of software running on ARMv8 architecture compliant processors. This enables developers to optimise 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 an ecosystem of 64-bit software and development tools,” said John Cornish, executive vice president, system design division, 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-n-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 customise these designs with the Virtualizer tool set to represent their specific ARMv8 SoCs. The VDKs also allow software engineers to efficiently develop software to support individual IP components, such as porting device drivers for DesignWare Interface IP, as well as to perform full software bring up for the entire SoC.
“Synopsys and ARM continue to work together to help product development teams take maximum advantage of ARM’s latest processors and accelerate their product development cycles, which are increasingly software dependent,” said Joachim Kunkel, senior vice president and general manager for IP and systems at Synopsys. “The VDK Family for ARMv8 Processors enables software developers to start work on their next generation devices earlier and complete it sooner, while helping to ensure their code is optimised for performance and power efficiency.”