Virtutech Simics is a systemlevel, instruction set simulator, capable of simulating high-end target systems with sufficient fidelity and speed to boot and run operating systems and commercial workloads. Simics provides a controlled, deterministic, and fully virtualized environment. Simics can simulate a variety of target systems, including systems based on the PC (x86 and x8664), SPARC V9, PowerPC, and Alpha architectures.Virtutech customers and partners use Simics for a variety of tasks, including to support the development of future commercial microprocessors, multiprocessor server memory architectures, and high-performance fault-tolerant operating systems. Academic groups use Simics to support education and advanced research in computer architecture and operating systems.
Simics can simulate both uniprocessor and multiprocessor systems, as well as clusters and networks of systems. It can boot and run unmodified and realistically scaled commercial workloads including Solaris 7 and 8, Red Hat Linux 6.2 (both x86, SPARC V9, and Alpha versions), Tru64 (Digital Unix 4.0F), VxWorks, and Windows NT 4.0.
Simics has been almost a decade in development.
Here is an abstract from the IEEE Computer review of Simics in PDF format:
“Full system simulation seeks to strike a balance between accuracy and performance. Many of its possibilities have been obvious to practitioners in both academia and industry for quite some time, perhaps decades, but Simics supports more of these possibilities within a single framework than other tools do. Simics is a platform for full system simulation that can run actual firmware and completely unmodified kernel and driver code. It is sufficiently abstract to achieve tolerable performance levels, and it provides both functional accuracy for running commercial workloads and sufficient timing accuracy to interface to detailed hardware models.
Simics can also run a heterogeneous network of systems from different vendors within the same framework. Exceptionally fast, Simics can easily add new components and leverage older ones within a practical abstraction level. It offers a platform with a rich API and a powerful scripting environment for use in a broad range of applications.”
i wonder why no one, including the open-source community, has gone public, and big with the release of a power macintosh hardware emulator. maybe there is someone that has, and i have yet to read or hear about it.
if this is the case, the latter, please let me know as i would be interested in it. thank you.
there is a console that is simulating linux on linux
if only the price for Simics wouldn’t be that high, the price for a single seat for a non-academic developer is around 25,000 USD :/
Dave: I’m not sure that the $25,000 price tag is for a single seat. Their website just says that “minimum configurations” start at that level, whatever that means.
Maybe a large community of developers, say 50 people or so, could chip in $500 each to purchase a copy and run it on a big machine somewhere and share it. One of those big IBM development community servers would do nicely. Hell, maybe IBM would be willing to buy a Simics license and make it publicly available if it would help to get Linux development projects done faster.
In any case, Simics is definitely an amazing piece of work.
There is an iMac emulator, iFusion. Too bad you need a PPC equipped Amiga to run it… :-7
If the price of it wasn’t so ludicrous, I might actually care.
If this is single seat, it’s just dumb. If it’s not single seat, they should have a single seat version available.
One thing that’s interesting: Emulators like this, Bochs, and VMware are a boon to OS developers. Not only do you not have keep a spare test machine lying around (or reboot your own development machine very five minutes, if you’re twisted enough) but with features like Boch’s single-step mode (where it steps through the program instruction-by-instruction) make debugging tons easier. There is also the potential to make OSs more ported. Its rather hard for many people to get their hands on a SPARC or Alpha machine to port their OS to. With software like this (if it ever comes down in price!) such ports should be easier to do.
There’s always SimNow! that is available for free to emulate the x86-64, but the speed is terrible.
I literally took over 40 minutes for the emulator to boot and give control to the first instruction of my boot record. It couldn’t be any faster than 3KHz, and I have a 800MHz AMD Athlon under the hood, should be much faster than that.