Simics® Simulator Public Release

Published: 05/14/2021  

Last Updated: 12/23/2021

The Simics® simulator and Simics® Virtual Platform have a long history in industry and academia. It is used extensively for presilicon and postsilicon software development, testing, and system integration at Intel and by Intel’s customers and partners. The public release provides the Simics simulator for free to the broader community. In addition to the functional simulation powered by Simics simulation technology, it also includes interfaces to performance, power, and thermal modeling from the Intel® Integrated Simulation Infrastructure with Modeling (Intel® ISIM).

The public release of the Simics simulator is available to:

  • Commercial users to develop designs based on Intel® products
  • Teachers, students, and researchers
  • Hobbyists for noncommercial use

For the end-user license, see the terms of use.

Wind River* also provides the Simics simulator, Simics Virtual Platforms, and services and support on a commercial basis.

 

What’s Included

The public release of the Simics simulator includes:

  • Simics simulator base product
  • Simics® Quick-Start Platform target system
  • Intel® Docea™ technology
  • Intel ISIM models for the Simics Quick-Start Platform
  • Clear Linux* example software setup
  • A set of Intel® processor core models (including Intel® Xeon® processor cores, Intel® Core® processor cores, and Intel Atom® processor cores)
  • Simics simulator and Intel ISIM tutorials, examples, and training materials

The Simics simulator provides the technology to build fast, functional virtual platforms. The base product contains the Simics® core, user interface, framework components, and documentation. This includes the command-line interface and features such as debugging, inspection, tracing, target control, and checkpointing. The Simics core framework includes the Simics simulator API, multithreaded scheduler, and configuration management. The release further includes the Device Modeling Language (DML) compiler and example models.

The Simics Quick-Start Platform is an Intel®-based fast, functional virtual platform that boots from a TianoCore-based open-source UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) and can run modern Linux, Windows*, and other operating system distributions. The Simics Quick-Start Platform is highly configurable and includes aspects like the number and types of processor cores, memory size, disks, network setup, PCIe* cards, and more.

The Intel Docea technology provides interfaces for combining functional models with models of performance, power, and thermal behavior. The interfaces are used by the example models present in the Intel ISIM models for the Simics Quick-Start Platform. The examples include simple performance, power, and thermal models that drive power-management logic, allowing for the fast simulation of closed-loop power management.

Simics simulator documentation includes get started guides with hands-on exercises and training materials with longer structured labs to help you use and extend the simulator.

Note The Eclipse* IDE for Simics® software UI is not included in the public Simics simulator release.

Download and Install the Simics Simulator

The download takes about 2 GB of disk space, and the complete installation is around 10 GB.

To download:

  1. Go to the download page.
  2. Accept the End-User License Agreement (EULA).
  3. Download both intel-simics-package-manager-(version) and the simics-6-packages-(version) for your host. 

Download

For the next steps, see the Installation Guide.

After you have installed the software, continue to the Get Started Guide.

Host System Requirements

Simics Simulator and Virtual Platforms

Host operating systems supported

  • 64-bit Linux distributions; the recommended minimum is Red Hat* Enterprise Linux 7
  • 64-bit Windows 8.1 or Windows Server* 2012 R2 (or later)

Host hardware recommendations

To run the Simics simulator efficiently, the host machine must have:

  • A recent Intel processor, preferably 11th generation Intel® Core® processor or later or 3rd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor or later
  • At least four cores
  • At least 16 GB of RAM
  • Solid-state disk (SSD)
  • Any graphics processor

For small simulations, a fast laptop is sufficient.

For large simulations, a server or a powerful desktop machine is recommended.

For maximum performance when simulating Intel targets, Simics can use virtualization, which requires an Intel processor with Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT) for IA-32, Intel® 64 and Intel® Architecture (Intel® VT-x). Using this virtualization feature requires an installed custom driver on your host, which is described in the Installation Guide.

Note Running Simics simulations in a virtual machine typically prevents Intel VT-x from being used or cause it to run with a significant reduction in speed. If isolation between Simics simulation instances is desired, use containers on Linux instead as they normally allow the use of custom drivers on the host.

Simics® Package Manager

The Simics® Package Manager is built on top of Node.js*, Electron*, and Chromium*, and its host requirements are based on the requirements of those frameworks. It has been tested to work on:

  • 64-bit Windows® 10 (and equivalent server versions of Windows)
  • 64-bit recent Linux versions. It has been tested on Fedora* 32 and later.

Resources

Get Started Guide

Simics Simulator History and Features 

For technical support, use the [simics] tag on Stack Overflow.

Device Modeling Language on GitHub*

Simics Quick-Start Platform UEFI on GitHub

Wind River Commercial Licenses for Simics Simulator

Intel ISIM

Product and Performance Information

1

Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at www.Intel.com/PerformanceIndex.