This site provides information about how simulation and virtual platforms can provide significant improvements to the approaches used for the development of embedded software. It discusses Continuous Integration for Embedded Systems and provides background material on the approaches used. It also has many pages of details on many virtual platforms that are used for the development of embedded software.


Nagra, part of the Kudelski group, a global leader in digital security and convergent media solutions for the delivery of digital and interactive content stated: “At NAGRA, we have adopted the Imperas virtual platform-based software development and test tools for our application and firmware teams. The simulator performance, and the tools for software analysis, have added significant value to our daily Agile Continuous Integration (CI) methodology. Our view is that software simulation is mandatory to reach metrics required for high quality secured products.”

From the O’Reilly Smart Jenkins book

“A good CI infrastructure can streamline the development process right through to deployment, help detect and fix bugs faster, provide a project dashboard for developers and non-developers, and ultimately, help teams deliver more business value to the end user.

Every professional development team, no matter how small, should be practising CI.”

Adopting a modern approach to developing embedded software

Modern methodologies for developing embedded software focus around much automation for developing, testing, and deployment. In the desktop software segment an approach called Continuous Integration is at the centre.

Continuous Integration (CI) ( is where a build server monitors code check ins to a source code repository and initiates automatic build and unit testing ensuring that whenever code is checked in it is integrated and initial testing is performed.

For embedded software this is a challenge as the software needs to run on a specific piece of embedded hardware often with a non-x86 cpu and with often several non-PC components. To test embedded software requires either the actual embedded hardware or a prototype of it. In fact to really adopt real automation for Continuous Integration you need many copies of the hardware so that many tests and users can operate in parallel.

This is the biggest challenge and the reason why so many users of Continuous Integration of Embedded Software are turning to simulation and virtual platforms to be at the centre of their test approach.

If you want to use a Continuous Integration methodology for embedded software development simulation and virtual platforms become essential. 

By developing and testing embedded software using simulation and virtual platforms the adoption of a Continuous Integration approach becomes straightforward and beneficial. 

Using a Continuous Integration server such as Jenkins with Virtual Platform simulation for embedded software development

To manage the building and unit testing that is at the heart of any continuous integration approach requires a build server. 

Jenkins ( is one of the leading open source solutions for desk top software. It was originally developed for Java program development but now works well with C/C++ and Make as needed for embedded systems.


Imperas has been using Continuous Integration with a build server and test automation system for over 5 years.

Imperas uses Jenkins internally and has customers developing embedded software using Jenkins and test automation using Imperas virtual platform simulation products.

For more information, please contact Imperas (

Fastest Simulation of ARM and MIPS virtual platforms

If you want to see a video – click here for the fastest ARM model simulation, or for the Imagination MIPS use of QuantumLeap click here.

Industry Standard Debug and IDE

Each virtual platform supports standard debugging interfaces and can be connected using RSP to GDB, either standalone or within an Eclipse IDE environment. The models also connect to the advanced multi-core debugger available as part of the Imperas Advanced Multicore Software Development Kit product.

Eclipse GDB Debug

Easy to use – watch the video of RISC-V and Continuous Integration (CI)

To see a short video of the use of simulation and virtual platforms used with Jenkins Continuous Integration and to see how easy it is to use Imperas simulation technology with Jenkins to automate much of the build and test of embedded software, click the image:

CI demo Video

Easy to use – watch the video

To see a short video of a Fast CPU Model running in a simple platform – and see it booting to the Linux prompt in under 10 seconds, click the image:

Nios booting Linux Video

If you want to see other videos, OVP has a collection to view here.

More Information

At the top of this page are several menu picks that list the different families and enable access to the model specific information. The listed items on the right provide news related information.

Getting Started

To explore how easy it is to use these Virtual Platform and Virtual Prototype models, look at the OVP starting page.

If you are looking for products to use to develop embedded software visit the Imperas Software website.

Thank you for your interest. To contact us please visit Imperas or OVP.

Currently available Imperas / OVP Virtual Platforms / Virtual Prototypes for Embedded Software Development and Test Automation.

FamilyVirtual Platform / Virtual Prototype
ARM Based Platforms    BareMetalArm7Single BareMetalArmCortexADual BareMetalArmCortexASingle BareMetalArmCortexASingleAngelTrap BareMetalArmCortexMSingle AlteraCycloneV_HPS ArmIntegratorCP ArmVersatileExpress ArmVersatileExpress-CA15 ArmVersatileExpress-CA9 AtmelAT91SAM7 ArmCortexMFreeRTOS ArmCortexMuCOS-II HeteroArmNucleusMIPSLinux FreescaleKinetis60 FreescaleKinetis64 FreescaleVybridVFxx AlteraCycloneV_HPS ArmIntegratorCP ARMv8-A-FMv1 ArmVersatileExpress ArmVersatileExpress-CA15 ArmVersatileExpress-CA9 AtmelAT91SAM7 ArmCortexMFreeRTOS ArmCortexMuCOS-II ArmuKernel iMX6S Zynq_PS
MIPS Based Platforms    BareMetalM14KSingle BareMetalMips32Dual BareMetalMips32Single BareMetalMips64Single BareMetalMipsDual BareMetalMipsSingle HeteroArmNucleusMIPSLinux MipsMalta MipsMalta
Vendor Platforms    BareMetalNios_IISingle AlteraCycloneIII_3c120 AlteraCycloneV_HPS AlteraCycloneIII_3c120 AlteraCycloneV_HPS BareMetalArcSingle BareMetalArm7Single BareMetalArmCortexADual BareMetalArmCortexASingle BareMetalArmCortexASingleAngelTrap BareMetalArmCortexMSingle ArmIntegratorCP ArmVersatileExpress ArmVersatileExpress-CA15 ArmVersatileExpress-CA9 ArmIntegratorCP ARMv8-A-FMv1 ArmVersatileExpress ArmVersatileExpress-CA15 ArmVersatileExpress-CA9 AtmelAT91SAM7 AtmelAT91SAM7 FreescaleKinetis60 FreescaleKinetis64 FreescaleVybridVFxx Or1kUclinux ArmCortexMFreeRTOS ArmCortexMuCOS-II HeteroArmNucleusMIPSLinux ArmCortexMFreeRTOS ArmCortexMuCOS-II ArmuKernel ArmuKernelDual Quad_ArmVersatileExpress-CA15 RiscvRV32FreeRTOS BareMetalM14KSingle BareMetalMips32Dual BareMetalMips32Single BareMetalMips64Single BareMetalMipsDual BareMetalMipsSingle MipsMalta MipsMalta iMX6S BareMetalOr1kSingle BareMetalM16cSingle BareMetalPowerPc32Single BareMetalV850Single ghs-multi RenesasUPD70F3441 ghs-multi RenesasUPD70F3441 virtio FaultInjection Zynq_PL_DualMicroblaze Zynq_PL_NoC Zynq_PL_NoC_node Zynq_PL_NostrumNoC Zynq_PL_NostrumNoC_node Zynq_PL_RO Zynq_PL_SingleMicroblaze Zynq_PL_TTELNoC Zynq_PL_TTELNoC_node XilinxML505 XilinxML505 zc702 zc706 Zynq Zynq_PL_Default Zynq_PS