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Simics is a full-system simulator used to run unchanged production binaries of the target hardware at high-performance speeds. Simics was originally developed by the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS), and then spun off to Virtutech for commercial development in 1998.[1]

Simics can simulate systems such as Alpha, x86-64, IA-64, ARM, MIPS (32- and 64-bit), MSP430, PowerPC (32- and 64-bit), POWER, SPARC-V8 and V9, and x86 CPUs. Many operating systems have been run on various varieties of the simulated hardware, including MS-DOS, Windows, VxWorks, OSE, Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux, QNX, and RTEMS. The NetBSD AMD64 port was initially developed using Simics before the public release of the chip [2]. The purpose of simulation in Simics is often to develop software for a particular type of embedded hardware, using Simics as a virtual platform.

Simics 3.0, released in the Fall of 2005, included the following new technologies:

  • Device Modeling Language (DML)
  • Device Modeling Language Compiler (DMLC)
  • Hindsight, claimed by Virtutech to be the world’s first general-purpose development tool for reversible execution

The addition of DML offers a faster way to create and configure non-standard devices such as ASICs and FPGAs. DML largely automates the routine task of creating code to manage the hundreds and often thousands of registers in a modern system. The DMLC DML compiler translates DML into high-performance device models that enable Simics to simulate complete electronic systems at a performance measured in speeds of up to billions of simulated instructions per second. DML enables developers to start programming earlier, saving time and capital early in the product life-cycle.

Virtutech has also integrated Simics 3.0 into the Eclipse framework. Simics provides full system simulation, including reverse debugging and execution with Hindsight, to the users that are standardizing on Eclipse as their integrated development environment (IDE).

Simics is currently available for Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms. Most of its code runs in Python and Eclipse.

See also

References

  1. ^ Simics Hindsight: Reverse Execution for Software Debugging, Virtual Strategy Magazine, May 4, 2005
  2. ^ Simics used to port an OS

External links

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