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Synopsys provides a virtual ARM development board for Android-based product prototyping, software development, test and hardware architecture design. Comprehensive debug, analysis and test solutions are available for the full Android software stack, running at real-time speed on the virtual board.
The virtual board is based on ARM’s RealView Baseboard and runs Android 2. Synopsys’s system-level debug and analysis tools support the bring-up and test of Linux, the Android Hardware Adaptation Layer (HAL) and Android Java Native Layer onto your hardware. The board provides interfaces for GPIOs, UARTs, Ethernet, etc. that can be hooked up to your host’s physical interfaces, or that can be easily connected via APIs to functional simulation models of, for example, a GPS, modem, sensors. The virtual board can be enhanced to support your own hardware blocks for device driver and HAL development. The hardware modeling solution is based on the widely adopted SystemC industry standard and users benefit from Synopsys largest system-level model portfolio.
In contrast to the Android emulator, the virtual board is able to run an unmodified image of the kernel and the Android file-system. Synopsys provides the software developer with an Android-aware, non-intrusive debugging and analysis solution that works for the user-and kernel-space. The ability to simultaneously debug and analyze multiple layers in the software stack, in addition to the interaction with the underlying hardware, is of tremendous value when customizing Android to support your hardware features. Software APIs allow you to connect your custom device case emulator to achieve a realistic look and feel for your early product demonstrations and usability testing. GUI testing can be regressionized through recording and replay of all I/O activities. The TCL/TK scripting interface of the virtual board provides access to all debug functions such as reading or writing data, setting breakpoint, watch-points on signals memories or registers. Comprehensive custom tools have been scripted such as heap memory checkers, system-level assertions, or the integration into your existing test framework. Energy management optimization can be carried out using the virtual board by taking advantage of the power tracing capabilities and the instant link to the software. Google’s Linux power management extensions, called wake-locks, are traced along with the processes and functions in the Android user-space to optimize for low power.