Imperas collaborates to accelerate RISC-V application software development

13th March 2023
Sheryl Miles

Imperas Software, specialist in RISC-V models and simulation solutions, has announced with MIPS and Ashling a new 3-way collaboration to support developers across all aspects of RISC-V software development for advanced processor applications.

Based on the Imperas reference models for the MIPS eVocore P8700 RISC-V Multiprocessor, together with Ashling’s RiscFree SDK tools, this collaboration extends beyond the standard level of ecosystem support to enable developers across all design phases from pre-silicon to prototype devices to end users.

As developers explore the full design potential of MIPS’ new RISC-V flexible compute solutions, software developers must utilise all of the available hardware resources and new capabilities. The key focus market segments include Automotive, HPC & Datacentre, and Communications & Networking, as all have a common requirement for high-performance processors and the associated demands for application-grade software.

With this new collaboration, the fast Imperas Reference Models provide a programmer’s view of the hardware running full application-class workloads and operating systems, while the Ashling tools provide the toolchain support including an IDE, compiler and software debugger.

During initial SoC concept development, virtual platforms assist with multicore architectural exploration. Key SoC project milestones are supported with OS porting, driver development, and applications-grade software development, often many months before silicon prototypes are available.

Further, to help accelerate end device adoption and deployment, Fixed Platform Kits (FPKs) can be used as virtual development boards for end users of new SoC devices.

The Imperas RISC-V reference models are configured as programmer’s view models of the MIPS eVocore P8700 for virtual platforms and software development. The new MIPS eVocore CPUs – the first MIPS CPUs based on the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), provide a flexible foundation for high-performance heterogeneous computing.

The Imperas reference models, having been used as a golden reference model during the verification of the processor core, are now well qualified as a dependable reference for software development.

RiscFree is Ashling’s SDK including an IDE, compiler, libraries, and debugger for software development and debug support (including debug & trace hardware probes). Since its introduction, Ashling’s RiscFree SDK has been steadily building market share within the embedded tools market and is particularly strong in the RISC-V market where its ease-of-use, broad functionality, plug-in architecture and real-time trace.

“The eVocore P8700 Multiprocessor is our first RISC-V based IP core,” said Itai Yarom, VP of Sales and Marketing at MIPS. “As an open standard ISA, RISC-V provides a foundation for a basic level of compatibility across technologies in the ecosystem. Together with Imperas and Ashling we are going beyond that, enabling SoC designers and software developers to take advantage of the P8700’s advanced microarchitectural features using best-in-class models and tools.”

“We are excited to offer our customers target debug support for the Imperas golden reference models of the MIPS eVocore P8700 Multiprocessor,” said Hugh O’Keeffe, CEO of Ashling. “This collaboration between Ashling, MIPS, and Imperas enables developers to accelerate their RISC-V software development, testing, and debugging, ultimately leading to faster time-to-market for next-generation domain-specific devices.”

“It has often been said that silicon without software is just sand,” said Simon Davidmann, CEO at Imperas Software Ltd. “Simulation is now essential for software development for the leading multicore processors with advanced features such as the MIPS eVocore P8700 RISC-V Multiprocessor. Imperas reference models and Ashling tools provide support throughout the design cycle from multicore architectural exploration, OS porting, driver development, through to virtual prototypes and FPKs as virtual development boards for end users.”

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