Amith Pulla, Intel Corp
Over the last two decades, the tech industry has seen increasing pressure on software-development schedules and quality, this is true even for electronics design, device software, BIOS, firmware, device drivers, operating systems and end-user application development. Today in the semiconductor industry, the majority of companies are adopting some type of system prototyping strategy, mainly in the form of simulators and emulators. The system level simulation and emulation tools available to software development teams can accelerate software development, testing, debugging and complete validation in a virtual lab setting, driving the overall quality of the hardware platform. Simulation tools are often referred to as virtual platforms because that are a full software solution running on operating systems. Virtual platforms or virtual prototyping platforms are the new class of tools based on high-level of design abstraction, can enable software development teams to start development and validation way ahead of actual hardware or silicon availability. This paper explores the use of software-based simulators and emulators for software/firmware development and validation, including industry-leading simulation and emulation platforms, common virtual prototyping approaches, advantages, and constraints. The paper will also cover the how these tools and platforms help software teams to be more agile, responding to the changing business needs and quality expectations by continuous feedback mechanisms in software testing and validation processes.