Intel® Simics® Simulator for Intel® FPGAs: User Guide

ID 784383
Date 12/04/2023

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7.2. Connectivity Between Host PC and Target System

Connecting a simulator to a real network opens many new possibilities. For example, it makes it easy to download files to simulated machines using FTP, to access simulated machines remotely through telnet, or to test software on simulated machines against real machines.

Intel® Simics® simulator supports several methods to interface the simulated networks and real networks. In this section, some of the options that rely on the Port Forwarding mechanism is described. Port forwarding is the easiest connection type to set up for simple usage. It does not require administrative privileges or any configuration on the simulation host or on the other hosts. However, port forwarding is limited to TCP and UDP traffic. Other traffic, for example, ping packets that use the ICMP protocol, do not pass through the connection. Since port forwarding uses ports on the simulation host it is not possible to use incoming ports that are already used by the simulation host, or ports below 1024 without administrative privileges.

Each incoming TCP port, and each incoming or outgoing UDP port requires a separate forwarding rule. Therefore, for an application that uses many ports, or random ports, configuration can become cumbersome or nearly impossible without complex communication. Outgoing TCP connections on many or random ports can be handled by NAPT, so that is not a problem.

Port forwarding allows communication between the simulated machines, the simulation host and other hosts on the real network.

Note: The examples described here start with the assumption that no real network connection has been set up yet. To be sure to start in this initial condition, the disconnect-real-network Intel® Simics® simulator command can be used.