Mentor tackles heterogeneous multicore SoC embedded software development

July 17, 2014 // By Julien Happich
EDA company Mentor Graphics has just released what it claims to be the embedded software industry's first comprehensive solution for heterogeneous multicore system-on-chip (SoC) development.

Heterogeneous architectures are those which combine two or more different types of microprocessors or microcontrollers, such as TI’s OMAP 5432 SoC featuring both the ARM Cortex-M4 and the ARM Cortex-A15.

With its integrated development solution, Mentor Graphics caters for device configuration, deployment and system optimization for multi-operation system devices that include the Linux platform, real-time operating system (RTOS), and bare-metal applications.

New features of the tool include support for the remote processor framework (remoteproc) for Mentor Embedded Linux, Nucleus RTOS and bare-metal applications. This aids in the configuration, development, deployment and management of operating systems and applications across heterogeneous SoC cores. The tool also enables scalable implementations of VirtIO, rpmsg and the Multicore Communications API (MCAPI) across operating systems to provide efficient inter-processor communication (IPC) for separated device subsystems.

It comes with graphical debugging and performance analysis tools offering a system-wide, synchronized perspective across operating systems and functions.

Going beyond the traditional use of Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) and Asymmetric Multi-Processing (AMP) approaches, the new integrated solution addresses many of the challenges designers face with heterogeneous systems such as the configuration and deployment of multiple operating systems and applications across processors, but also booting multiple operating systems efficiently and in a coordinated manner across microprocessors and microcontrollers while ensuring communication between isolated sub-systems on a multi-core processor or between heterogeneous processors.

The new environment also helps designers visualize the interactions between multiple operating systems.

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