Simics® Simulator Public Release

Published: 05/14/2021

The Simics® simulator and Simics® Virtual Platform have a long history in both industry and academia and are used extensively at Intel and by Intel’s customers and partners. The public release broadens the availability and makes the Simics simulator available free of charge.

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 non-commercial 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
  • 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 training materials

The Simics simulator 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 application-programming interface (API), multithreaded scheduler, and configuration management.

The Simics Quick-Start Platform is an Intel-based 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.

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 GUI 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 will be 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.

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 in the most efficient way, the host machine should feature:

  • A recent Intel processor, preferably 10th Generation Intel® Core® processor or later, or a 1st generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor or later
  • At least four cores
  • At least 16 GB of RAM
  • Solid-state disk (SSD)
  • The graphics processor does not matter

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 feature requires the installation of a custom driver on your host, which is described on the installation and get started page.

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

Simics Simulator History and Features 

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

Simics Quick-Start Platform UEFI on GitHub*

Wind River* Commercial Licenses for Simics Simulator

Intel® Integrated Simulation Infrastructure with Modeling (Intel® ISIM)

Product and Performance Information

1

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