June 22, 2010 -- Engineers embrace model-based design in many different disciplines associated with product development, for example, finite element analysis in mechanical engineering and circuit simulation for electrical engineering. Modeling enables development before physical prototypes are available. It enables development that is not possible, or is very difficult, with the physical or actual product. Virtual prototyping of embedded hardware brings the model-based design paradigm to embedded system development.
The use of virtual prototypes prior to hardware delivery has well-documented benefits for architectural exploration, early software development, golden reference specifications, reduced silicon turns, and software/hardware co-verification. This article focuses on the virtual prototype benefits after physical prototype availability. The Google Android Emulator is a well-known example of how a VP delivers value even after silicon is available .
By Everett Lumpkin and Casey Alford. (Lumpkin is Senior Function Design Methodology and Automation Engineer with Delphi Corp. and Alford is the Director, Field Engineering & Technical Services with Embedded Systems Technology.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.