ARM has introduced the VSTREAM virtual debug interface to provide a virtual link that connects software debuggers to hardware assisted verification systems to enable more efficient software development in the early stages of system design.
When used in conjunction with VSTREAM, software debuggers such as the ARM RVD debugger provide a responsive graphical debug environment for processors running on verification systems.
From the debugger it is possible to stop the processor, view and change the value of processor registers and system memory and single-step through code. VSTREAM enables large software images to be downloaded to memory in seconds. VSTREAM implements a transaction-based connection to the RTL, not requiring any external hardware accessories to be physically attached. This lowers the setup and maintenance cost of hardware assisted verification farms and increases their flexibility when handling multiple remote debugger connections. All current ARM Cortex processors are supported by VSTREAM, including the ARM Cortex-A5 and ARM Cortex-M0 processors. It also enables the simultaneous connection of multiple debuggers to a target, an essential function in bringing up multicore devices, such as those based on the Cortex-A9 MPCore processor.
VSTREAM is available now for usage with Cadence Palladium series and Palladium XP emulators, and with Mentor Veloce emulators. Support for other EDA tools will be added throughout the second half of 2010.
A VSTREAM demo will be available at the Cadence booth (number 1334) and Mentor Graphics booth (number 1383) at next week's DAC.