Introducing VPP - the Virtual Prototyping Platform Project
Doug Gaff (Wind River Systems)
Today, complex systems are no longer designed monolithically, but rather as amalgamations (at the system level) of complex interconnected components, each of which may consist of both hardware and hardware dependent software components. In order to design such systems, often models are used. They can be used to explore potential implementations (in terms of hardware, software, or the division between hardware and software), enable early software development on top of the system "platform," or indeed as a reference model that can be used for verification. The models can encompass both hardware and software components. Models can be written to be more or less faithful to the final implementation, both in terms of their functionality, and in terms of the "meta" information that they model (for instance execution time or power consumption).
This type of modeling is referred to as the Electronic System Level (ESL) Design, and it often occurs prior to or at the point of making a split between hardware and software. The language most frequently used for ESL Design is SystemC.
The VPP project will provide tooling for SystemC, in conjunction with the open initiatives work having in the GreenSocs organization. The initial technology in the project includes:
- SystemC Syntax highlighting
- SystemC topology viewer (to view the hardware components of a system, typically fed by a SystemC parser)
- Display of analysis information published by SystemC models
- Profiling of SystemC simulations (this requires hooks into the SystemC kernel to provide simulation activity in order to improve simulation performance)
The VPP project is currently in the Incubation Phase in DSDP.
In his open source life, Doug Gaff is the PMC Lead for the Device Software Development Platform (DSDP) - an Eclipse project focused on building an extensible, standards-based platform to address a broad range of needs in the embedded and mobile software development space. Doug is also the Technical Program Chair for EclipseCon 08. In his commercial life, Doug is a Senior Engineering Manager on Wind River's commercial Eclipse-based product, Wind River Workbench. He is responsible for Eclipse open source contributions and adoption of Eclipse technology commercially. Doug has 13 years of embedded software development experience and holds a Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering.