1.1 What is Fast Models?

The Fast Models product comprises a library of Programmer's View (PV) models and tools that enable partners to build, execute, and debug virtual platforms. Virtual platforms enable the development and validation of software without the need for target silicon. The same virtual platform can be used to represent the processor or processor subsystem in SoC validation.

Fast Models are delivered in two ways:

The benefits of using Fast Models include:

Develop code without hardware

Fast Models provides early access to ARM IP, well ahead of silicon being available. Virtual platforms are suitable for OS bring-up and for driver, firmware, and application development. They provide an early development platform for new ARM technology and accelerate time-to-market.

High performance

Fast Models uses Code Translation (CT) processor models, which translate ARM instructions into the instruction set of the host dynamically, and cache translated blocks of code. This and other optimization techniques, for instance temporal decoupling and Direct Memory Interface (DMI), produce fast simulation speeds for generated platforms, between 20-200 MIPS on a typical workstation, enabling an OS to boot in tens of seconds.

Customize to model your exact system

Fast Models provides a portfolio of models that are flexible and can easily be customized using parameters to test different configurations. Using the System Canvas tool you can model your own IP and integrate it with existing model components.

You can also export components and subsystems from the Fast Models portfolio to SystemC for use in a SystemC environment. Such an exported component is called an Exported Virtual Subsystem (EVS). EVSs are compliant with SystemC TLM 2.0 specifications to provide compatibility with Accellera SystemC and a range of commercial simulation solutions.

Run standalone or debug using development tools

Generated platform models are equipped with Component Architecture Debug Interface (CADI). This allows them to be used standalone or with development tools such as ARM DS-5 or ARM Keil® MDK, as well as providing an API for third party tool developers.

Test architecture compliance

Fast Models provides Architecture Envelope Models (AEMs) for ARMv8-A, ARMv8-R, and ARMv8-M. These are specialist architectural models that are used by ARM and by ARM architecture licensees to validate that implementations are compliant with the architecture definition.

Trace and debug interfaces

Fast Models provides the Model Trace Interface (MTI) and CADI for trace and debug. These APIs enable you to write plug-ins to trace and debug software running on models. Fast Models also provides some pre-built MTI plug-ins, for example Tarmac Trace, that you can use to output trace information.

Build once, run anywhere

Since the same binary runs on the model, the target development hardware, and the final product, you only need to build it using the ARM toolchain.

Host platform compatibility

Fast Models can be used on both Linux and Microsoft Windows hosts.

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