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Fujitsu Laboratories Develops World's Fastest Simulation Technology Able to Faithfully Reproduce CPU Operations

With Real-time Precision, Ultra-fast Simulations Promise to Accelerate Development of Complex Electronic Equipment Systems

Kawasaki, Japan, Mar 13, 2012 - (JCN Newswire) - Fujitsu Laboratories Limited today announced that it has developed the world's fastest simulation technology for systems using the ARM computing core, widely used in mobile phones and other electronic devices. This technology is able to faithfully reproduce hardware operations with cycle-for-cycle real-time accuracy.

Systems using the ARM core have become dramatically more complex in recent years, creating a need for a simulation technology that runs faster and with better fidelity to the hardware, for use both in testing whether the system runs as designed, and in application and operating-system development. What Fujitsu Laboratories has developed is a platform for running simulations that allows for cycle-level simulations with low system overhead, based on a just-in-time compiler. The end result is that a standard PC environment can simulate at the cycle level an ARM multicore system running at faster than 100 MHz, which represents a hundredfold speedup over previous simulators. With a margin of error of only about +/-5% relative to the actual hardware, this simulator is fast and faithful.

This technology will help to shorten the development cycle for systems and devices using ARM cores and encourage the development of a greater diversity of ARM-based systems.

Details of this technology were presented at DATE 2012 (Design, Automation, & Test in Europe), which opened March 12 in Dresden, Germany.

Background

The ARM core is widely used in the CPUs of mobile phones and other electronic devices. These devices and systems have grown vastly more complex over the past ten years, while at the same time, competition pushes manufacturers to shorten their time to market for new products. The need to create easy-to-use, high-quality products under tight lead times has led to a demand for supporting technologies that will enable rapid, accurate development of new devices and systems.

Technological Issues

When developing systems based on the ARM core, simulations are used for advance testing as a way to accelerate the development process, in order to determine whether systems operate as designed. This has created a need for a simulation technology that runs fast and with good fidelity to the hardware.

The just-in-time compiler is a widely used approach for fast simulations of the ARM core, also used in Java runtime engines. But the JIT compiler approach does not faithfully reproduce time-based information. When cycle-level simulations are called for, other simulation technologies that run hundreds of times slower than a JIT compiler have been the only option.

The Newly Developed Technology

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a simulation technology that runs as fast as a JIT compiler but with precise cycle-level fidelity. This makes it possible for a standard PC environment to simulate an ARM multicore system with cycle-level fidelity at speeds greater than 100 MHz, a hundredfold speedup. Simulations run with a +/-5% margin of error relative to running on the hardware, for fast, faithful simulations.

Key features of the technology are as follows:

1. JIT compiler technology with cycle-level precision

In order for the simulator to run fast and with fidelity to the way the code would run on its native hardware, Fujitsu Laboratories developed a real-time calculation algorithm optimized for use in a JIT compiler.

2. Multicore-compatible technology

There has been an extremely rapid adoption of multicore implementations of the ARM core, and this cycle-level simulation technology supports multiple cores. Fujitsu Laboratories' cycle-precise JIT compiler technology can perform separate real-time calculations for each core, so it can perform load-distribution that levels the load of each core, running high-speed cycle-level simulations that do not suffer in performance even when dealing with multiple cores.

Results

This technology will help to shorten the development cycle for systems and devices using ARM cores and encourage the development of a greater diversity of ARM-based systems.

Future Plans

To support the development of a wider range of systems using ARM cores, Fujitsu Laboratories plans to continue work developing faster and more accurate simulation technology and to expand the range of ARM core types that can be used.

About Fujitsu Limited

Fujitsu is a leading provider of information and communication technology (ICT)-based business solutions for the global marketplace. With approximately 170,000 employees supporting customers in over 100 countries, Fujitsu combines a worldwide corps of systems and services experts with highly reliable computing and communications products and advanced microelectronics to deliver added value to customers. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$55 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011. For more information, please visit www.fujitsu.com.



About Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Multimedia, Personal Systems, Networks, Peripherals, Advanced Materials and Electronic Devices. For more information, please see http://jp.fujitsu.com/labs/en/



Source: Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

Contact:
Fujitsu Limited
Public and Investor Relations
www.fujitsu.com/global/news/contacts/
+81-3-3215-5259


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