Xilinx partners Cadence to introduce an Extensible Virtual Platform for software developers

October 27, 2011 //By Paul Buckley
Xilinx, Inc., is teaming up with Cadence Design Systems, Inc., to develop the industry’s first virtual platform to enable system design, software development, and testing of Xilinx Zynq-7000 Extensible Processing Platform (EPP) based systems in advance of hardware availability. The solution further enhances the development environment being put into place for Xilinx’s ARM processor-based processing platform and changes the development flow for embedded designers, enabling software content to drive hardware design.

Built upon Cadence Virtual System Platform (VSP) technology, part of the Cadence System Development Suite , the virtual platform provides a stable, feature-rich, fast and functionally accurate model of the Zynq-7000 EPP processor system, its peripherals, memory and I/O, capable of booting Linux and other operating systems. Complementing this model, and mirroring the programmable capabilities of the EPP hardware, is the ability for developers to extend the virtual platform using transaction-level models (TLM) to support custom devices that will ultimately be instantiated within the Zynq-7000 device’s programmable logic.

“This new extensible virtual platform increases productivity for concurrent development of system architecture, hardware and software,” said Michał Siwinski, group director of product marketing, System & Software Realization Group, Cadence. “As software content continues to grow, software-driven, system-level development methodologies are critical to the success of embedded systems– a concept detailed in the EDA360 vision.”

The Virtual Platform augments the overall development offering Xilinx has been providing to early access Zynq-7000 EPP customers by enhancing the capabilities for software developers to start designing their applications today. Xilinx has been working with members of its Alliance Program and ARM’s Connected Community over the course of two years to build a comprehensive development offering for the Zynq-7000 EPP.

The ecosystem of vendors providing tools and operating system support for the Zynq-7000 devices continues to grow as part of a program that began with the availability of FPGA based emulation platforms and a hardware tools early access program. Xilinx also announced an Open Source Linux offering. To learn more, visit www.xilinx.com/products/zynq-7000/linux.htm

An early access program for the virtual platform is in place and general availability is planned for Q1, 2012.

More information about the virtual platform and the Zynq-7000 device family at

More information about the Cadence’s Virtual System Platform and the Cadence-Xilinx collaboration on the virtual platform at www.cadence.com/zynq