Wind River Systems Announces New Version of Simics for Stronger Cybersecurity and DevOps

November 06, 2019 by Lisa Boneta

The new version of Simics provides a secure, shared platform aimed to help embedded developers virtually simulate a full target system.

Wind River has announced the latest version of Simics complete with security upgrades to original Simics simulation software.


Simics also simulates the memories, peripheral devices, interconnects, disks, and networks, building a true full-system model.

Simics aims to build a full-system model by also simulating memories, peripheral devices, interconnects, disks, and networks. Image from Wind River Systems

According to the press release, the latest version is designed to “allow functional simulation of any size system, from chips to the most complex system of systems" while creating "a path of embedded developers to hone their continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD)” by modeling actual hardware.

Wind River intends for Simics to streamline the development process and help developers implement DevOps for a better software experience. 


Simulations for Virtual Hardware

Simulations play an integral part in software development as it allows engineers to work independently from physical hardware. Virtual hardware allows for continuous integration and automated testing, even before the engineer has finalized hardware designs.

Both simulations and virtual hardware can have profound impacts on the traditional product life cycle because they can accelerate and transform the way businesses operate. 


Comparison on the prototyping process for physical hardware vs. virtual hardware.

Comparison of the prototyping process for physical hardware vs. virtual hardware. Image from Wind River Systems

With increasingly complex systems that use more software, hardware, and connectivity, having access to powerful simulation tools, such as Wind River Simics, allows developers and quality assurance teams to efficiently collaborate and ensure timely testing, feedback, and deployment.


Key Updates to Simics

Several key features have significantly enhanced the pre-existing software: 

  • A 20% improvement in performance, due to a third-generation scheduler, better memory allocation, and the integration and execution of SystemC components.
  • Updated model definitions, resultant of an upgrade to the DML language (version 1.4).
  • New implementation of target consoles, which enables web-based frontends, greater system insights, and simulation control options.  
  • The new instrumentation framework and API enhances functionality for data filtration, instruction tracing, code coverage, and instrumentation tools integration. 
  • The new release runs with previous Simic models without any modifications in order to provide easy migration to the new release.
  • An upgraded set of supporting tools helps with both the security and robustness of Simics.

Simics can single-step any code forward and backward when debugging OS-level code.

Simics can single-step any code forward and backward when debugging OS-level code. Image from Wind River Systems

Another major advantage of Simics is that it supports the entire product lifecycle, from design to product deployment and maintenance. It allows developers to simulate virtually anything, whether it be single chips or complete systems and networks.

Simics also makes it easy to manage multiple configurations of components, proving useful for compatibility testing and other testing scenarios. 


A Secure Testing Tool

The latest version of Simics aims to give embedded development teams the ability to accelerate DevOps with continuous integration, which in turn facilitates secure collaboration on virtual hardware. Using a "digital twin" of a hardware system, developers can affordably conduct automation tests in a controlled environment. According to the product page, this software also allows designers to "test relevant security scenarios in a virtual lab."

Michel Genard, the vice president of product at Wind River, states that customers see Simics as “the best cyber test bench for simulating an unlimited number of attack vectors, significantly reducing security vulnerability exposure.” 

Using simulation software like Simics can help developers improve product quality and security while reducing any risks with shipping and budgeting.


Feature image used courtesy of Wind River Systems.



How do you ensure security with hardware simulation? Let us know in the comments below.