Team created and integrated a virtual platform and ported it to Linux in just a few weeks – all prior to hardware availability
08 Jul 2014
Dusseldorf, July 8, 2014 — Renesas Electronics Europe, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced a collaboration with the consulting firm ASTC in which it developed a new ASIC for a consumer electronics customer and was able to provide a full board support package (secure boot, drivers and OS) before the silicon was available. The speed and efficiency of the development and the multinational team collaboration between Renesas and ASTC enabled Renesas to produce the ASIC exceptionally fast, while the customer reduced time to market for its new imaging solution.
Next-generation ASIC for imaging
Renesas’ next generation ASIC is designed to significantly enhance image quality and video analytics performance by incorporating custom hardware accelerators into a standard ARM Cortex-based ASIC. While Renesas was engaged on the hardware development, ASTC used its VLAB Virtual Platform solution, together with existing ARM toolboxes and models, to create and integrate a virtual platform for the new Renesas ASIC. Due to the pre-silicon availability of the VLAB virtual platform for software development, and its advanced hardware/software debug capabilities, the Linux port only took a few weeks. As a result, ASTC delivered a Linux kernel running on the virtual platform well before the silicon was available.
Fast development with no need for hardware
ASTC used VLAB with the standard ARM Virtual Platform Toolbox to accelerate the development and integration of the virtual platform for the new Renesas device. The VLAB ARM Toolbox includes the ARM Cortex-A9 ISS models, the ARM PrimeCell Toolbox, and a QuickStart Reference Virtual Platform. The QuickStart Reference Virtual Platform for customization comprises a pre-integrated platform with sample kernel and test cases, enabling developers to kick-start development by allowing immediate loading and running of software applications.
Linux port in little more than two weeks
After assembling the platform for the Renesas device, Renesas took a standard Linux kernel and ported it to this virtual board in just a few weeks, helping the team achieve the goal of having software running long before the hardware is available. Renesas also used this platform to develop the boot code – software that will cause a respin of the ASIC if it is wrong – and test that it was sufficiently robust for the application. Renesas engineers also took advantage of VLAB’s easy scripting API to validate boot-from-UART over a range of baud rate conditions, and of the RealIO™ Ethernet interface to validate boot-from-Ethernet using the same boot tools that the real hardware will use.
ASTC (Australian Semiconductor Technology Company) delivers semiconductor and systems design, embedded software development and other services across global markets and supply chains for automotive, mobile, multimedia, transportation, and aerospace electronics and embedded software.
ASTC, along with its subsidiary VLAB Works, employs 100 staff globally, with a team, organization, history, and experience stretching back to the early 90s.
ASTC is privately held, and is headquartered in Adelaide, Australia, with offices in Australia, Europe, Japan, and North America. More information: http://www.astc-design.com and http://www.vlabworks.com/vlab.
About Renesas Electronics Europe
Renesas delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live – securely and safely. As the number one global supplier of microcontrollers, and a leader in A&P and SoC products, Renesas provides the expertise, quality, and comprehensive solutions for a broad range of Automotive, Industrial, Home Electronics (HE), Office Automation (OA) and Information Communication Technology (ICT) applications to help shape a limitless future.
Renesas Electronics Corporation was established in 2010 and is headquartered in Japan.With over 800 hardware and software alliance partners worldwide, it has the industry’s largest local support network. Renesas Electronics’ European structure is comprised of three business units – the Automotive, the Broad-based and the Industrial Solution Business Unit.
Further information about Renesas Electronics Europe is available at at www.renesas.com
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