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CPU emulator supports dual-core PowerPC chip

Jun 18, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

A vendor of “full-system” virtualized software development tools has added support for a dual-core PowerPC processor targeting high-end network devices. Virtutech says a newly available Freescale MPC8572E PowerQUICC III simulation model for its Simics tools lets software development begin ahead of silicon availability.

Freescale's MPC8572E processor is currently sampling, with general availability expected in Q2, 2008. The high-end PowerQUICC III chip targets high-throughput networking applications requiring significant processing power — including multi-service routing and switching, Firewall/VPN, unified threat management, intrusion detection and prevention systems, anti-virus, load-balancing, content-switching, and application-aware networking equipment. MontaVista CTO James Ready recently tipped plans to offer Linux support for the MPC8572.

The MPC8572E is based on dual e500 PowerPC cores clocked up to 1.5GHz. It integrates dual DDR2/DDR3 memory controllers, a “Layer 4-7 Pattern Matching Engine” aimed at security processing applications such as packet inspection and content processing, and five Ethernet controllers, including four gigabit controllers with integrated IEEE 1588 time synchronization.

Freescale MPC8572 function block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Virtutech says its Simics “whole system” virtualization tools can help kernel and application developers start working prior to availability of actual boards based on the MPC8572E chip. The package's MPC8572E simulation model offers adequate fidelity to ensure binary compatibility, according to the company.

Additionally, virtualized development can offer specific technical advantages over development on actual hardware, the company said. These include greater visibility into software execution, and bi-directional debugging aimed at letting programmers step through applications backwards, as well as forwards (perhaps similar to Undo Software's UndoDB 2.0 debugger).

CEO John Lambert stated, “The sooner developers can have access to high-fidelity and high-performance models of complex multi-core processors, the better.”


Virtutech's Simics tools with MPC8572E simulation model are available now. The MPC8572E chip is currently sampling, with availability expected in Q2, 2008.

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