Intel Technology Journal on Simics

Simics_ITJ_180-wideThe September 2013 issue of the Intel Technology Journal (which actually arrived in December) is all about Simics. Daniel Aarno of Intel and I served as the content architects for the issue, which meant that we managed to contributed articles from various sources, and wrote an introductory article about Simics and its usage in general. It has taken a while to get this journal issue out, and now that it is done it feels just great! I am very happy about the quality of all the ten contributed articles, and reading the final versions of them actually taught me some new things you could do with Simics! I already wrote about the issue in a Wind River blog post, so in this my personal blog I want to be a little bit more, well, personal.

This is actually the first time that I have worked on this type of project, and I have been very happy with the support we got from Intel Press to both proof-read, typeset, and manage the technical aspects of publication. It was quite luxurious to be able to send in a completely unformatted manuscript alongside images, and have professionals do the formatting and image editing. During my research and industrial career, this is about the first time that has happened. Previously, the proceedings, journals, magazines, and books where I have published text all required a final manuscript with all images ready to use and all pages formatted according to sometimes quite difficult rules.

The contents of the journal comes both from within Intel (where there is a tremendous amount of Simics usage today), as well from outside. The outside contributions are mainly from academics using Simics, along with an article from a colleague of mine at Wind River. We also got the founder of Virtutech and original creator of Simics, Peter S Magnusson, to write an foreword which came out very nicely and told me some parts of the old story of Simics that I had not heard before (and I did work for Virtutech while Peter was still leading it). Getting contributions from companies using Simics turned out to be a bit difficult, since publishing in a journal owned by another company is quite difficult to get approved. Still, with some 30% of the content being external to Intel, I think our issue of the ITJ had a broader authorship than most.

For me, most of the the articles contained surprises! There were applications of Simics technology and insight into how simulation and virtual platforms can be used to improve the system development process and product lifecycle that I had not seen before. For example, the idea of simulating a cluster containing thousands of processor cores sounds insane, but it was made to work by one of the authors.

If you want to know more about the frontier of virtual platform technology and how Simics is being used today, I recommend downloading the issue. It is completely free (but with registration), at https://noggin.intel.com/technology-journal/2013/172/simics-unleashed-%E2%80%93-applications-virtual-platforms. Unlike certain other companies, Intel maintains digital access as a free service, which I definitely think is the right way to  go.

If you want to reference an article in this journal issue, it should be Intel Technology Journal Volume 17, issue 2, September 2013. September might be optional.

3 thoughts on “Intel Technology Journal on Simics”

  1. “For example, the idea of simulating a cluster containing thousands of processor cores sounds insane…”
    I am holding on for million core simulation.
    BTW can you simulate a quantum computer with Simics? 😀 Even just a little…
    Salutari!

  2. Quantum computer simulation is a wholly different area. Simics is for normal deterministic von Neumann-style classical computer systems, not quantum superimposed-state fuzzy things.

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