Altera SoC FPGA Virtual Target

Altera introduced the SoC FPGA Virtual Target. It is a PC-based functional simulation of the Altera SoC FPGA development board. The SoC FPGA Virtual Target is the industry’s first virtual target designed to enable immediate device-specific embedded software development targeting Altera’s newly announced SoC FPGA devices. The Altera SoC FPGA Virtual Target can be ordered now. FPGA-in-the-loop extension is planned for early 2012.

The Altera SoC FPGA Virtual Target is Linux- and VxWorks-enabled, and is supported by ARM ecosystem development tools. SoC FPGA Virtual Target helps engineers to jump-start software development so they can maximize their productivity and get to market quickly. The SoC FPGA Virtual Target is based on Synopsys’ virtual prototyping solutions. The collaboration between Altera and Synopsys resulted in a proven virtual prototyping technology that can be easily deployed.

The Virtual Target is a binary- and register-compatible, functional equivalent of an SoC FPGA board. It ensures that software developed on the Virtual Target can be moved to the actual board with minimal effort. The Altera SoC FPGA Virtual Target enables embedded software engineers to develop application using familiar tools, maximize legacy code reuse, and gain further productivity from the unparalleled level of target control and target visibility that are critical for complex multicore processor systems development.

SoC FPGA Virtual Target

  • Delivered as a prebuilt, ready-to-use, binary- and register-compatible PC-based simulation model
  • Features the same dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and system peripherals found in Altera’s Cyclone V and Arria V SoC FPGAs
  • Also includes board-level components, such as DDR SDRAM, flash memory, and virtual I/Os
  • Optional FPGA-in-the-loop extension (for adding custom peripherals and hardware accelerators to the processor subsystem, creating device drivers for them, and integrating with application software prior to final hardware availability)
  • Linux can be booted on the Virtual Target right out-of-the-box using a prebuilt Linux kernel image
  • VxWorks board support package (BSP) will be available this quarter
  • BSPs for other embedded operating systems coming soon
  • Supported development tools include the GNU tools, ARM RVDS, the ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5), the Lauterbach TRACE32 debugger and the Wind River Workbench
  • Offers more visibility into the system under debug
  • Greater control of the target execution (especially in a multicore system)
  • Performs many debugging tasks that are hard or impossible on hardware

More info: Altera