This page discusses Continuous Integration for Embedded Systems and provides background material on the approaches used.
Adopting a modern approach to developing embedded software for RISC-V
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) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_integration) 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 RISC-V embedded software this is a challenge as the software needs to run on a specific piece of RISC-V embedded hardware often with a non-x86 cpu and with often several non-PC components. To test RISC-V embedded software requires either the actual RISC-V embedded hardware or a prototype of it. In fact to really adopt real automation for Continuous Integration you need many copies of the RISC-V 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 use RISC-V and want to use a Continuous Integration methodology for embedded software development, simulation and virtual platforms become essential.
By developing and testing RISC-V embedded software using RISC-V 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 RISC-V 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 (https://jenkins.io/) 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 (http://www.imperas.com/continuous-integration-using-jenkins-and-virtual-platforms).
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:
If you want to see other videos, OVP has a collection to view here.
Fastest Simulation of RISC-V virtual platforms
If you want to see a video of the Imperas parallel simulation acceleration, QuantumLeap, in action – 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.
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.
To explore how easy it is to use the Virtual Platform and Virtual Prototype models that are listed on this site, risc-v-simulator.com, ‘High Performance RISC-V Processor Models and Simulators’, ‘Developing Embedded Software using Fast RISC-V Platform Simulation’, look at the OVP starting page.
If you are looking for products to use to develop embedded software visit the Imperas Software website.
Currently available Fast Processor Model Families.