Wind River Blog and Movie: Demo of Simics Debugging

Last year, I did a Simics webinar which included a two-part demo of how to use Simics to debug an endianness bug in a networked system as it migrates from big-endian to a little-endian system. Along the way, I also showed off various Simics features like reverse execution and checkpointing and scripted execution.

The demo is now online at the Wind River Youtube channel, and the setup is explained in a blog post at the Wind River company blog which is worth reading before watching the video.

5 thoughts on “Wind River Blog and Movie: Demo of Simics Debugging”

  1. Running Simics on top of a Hypervisor would not be much different from running it on top of a regular OS. The crucial difference between a virtual platform (VP) like Simics and a typical Hypervisor or PC-virtual machine manager (VMM) is that the VP simulates an arbitrary platform quite precisely (such as ARM, MIPS, PPC, or 8051) on top of an arbitrary PC. While a HV or VMM instead provides a subdivision of the physical machine or a virtual copy of the physical machine – they cannot do ARM on x86, or even a special variant of an x86 on top of another x86. Their efficiency comes from making the guest and host as similar as possible. The power of Simics comes from making the host irrelevant to the guest/target system.

  2. My concern is if Simics (if run on a HV) will end up running on a VM (by extension OS) itself.
    It would be great if I could attach a picture of what I had in mind.

    Instead of HV creating a virtual copy of the physical machine, it could allow Simics to virtualize a platform of choice. And we could have a cross platform connectivity on the same host machine. I see that Simics can do this (multi-platform connectivity) on its own (ARM and PPC demo in the video).

  3. Indeed we could do that. And in a sense Simics does that already, except that the design is optimized more for debugging and testing than for runtime use. The use of a HV underneath Simics itself vs a conventional OS does not really matter, as the Simics system is completely enclosed in itself. It would neither be hindered, nor helped, by running on top of a hypervisor.

  4. I wonder if there is a working model of the setup.
    Many questions!! I wonder if we could have a mail chain started.

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