Electronic Design

Modular Plug-In Architecture Speeds App Development

Doing software development before hardware is available saves time and money. It also lets more developers work on an application when hardware is expensive or in limited supply. This is one reason developers have turned to Virtio's simulation tools.

With Virtio's SoftBoards modular packaging, a single development tool can handle a range of hardware simulation platforms. The first incarnation of SoftBoards can be found in Metrowerks' (www.metrowerks.com) CodeWarrior for Symbian OS v2, OEM Edition, which incorporates SoftBoard of VPXS (Virtio's Virtual Platform) for Intel PXA250 running the Symbian OS v7. It targets mobile phone products

Virtio's technology covers all the hardware, not just a simulation of the processor. This includes peripheral controllers as well as the user interface, which is key to providing a tightly integrated and fully functional development environment.

The plug-in architecture allows each phone to be simulated, including an on-screen view of the phone interface. Each new phone model could have its own plug-in depending upon the hardware differences.

SoftBoards is tightly integrated with CodeWarrior debugger. The debugger takes advantage of breakpoints, tracing information, and status output from the SoftBoards plug-in, providing developers with an in-depth view of the simulated hardware. Developers can be up and running quickly with a new SoftBoards plug-in because the integration is handled transparently.

Currently, SoftBoard plug-ins are tightly integrated with the development platform. More platforms and plug-ins are expected. SoftBoard plug-in developers must be Virtio technology licensees. Or, they can work with Virtio or Metrowerks in creating new plug-ins. Virtio supports a wide range of processors and peripherals, so creating new plug-ins is a straightforward process.

Virtio Corp.

TAGS: Mobile Intel
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