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Simics is a full-system simulator used to run unchanged production binaries of the target hardware at high-performance speeds. Simics was originally developed by the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS), and then spun off to Virtutech for commercial development in 1998.[1] Virtutech was acquired by Intel in 2010 and Simics is now marketed through Intel's subsidiary Wind River Systems.[2]

Simics can simulate systems such as Alpha, x86-64, IA-64, ARM, MIPS (32- and 64-bit), MSP430, PowerPC (32- and 64-bit), SPARC-V8 and V9, and x86 CPUs. Many operating systems have been run on various varieties of the simulated hardware, including MS-DOS, Windows, VxWorks, OSE, Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux, QNX, and RTEMS. The NetBSD AMD64 port was initially developed using Simics before the public release of the chip.[3] The purpose of simulation in Simics is often to develop software for a particular type of embedded hardware, using Simics as a virtual platform.

The current version of Simics is 5[4] and it is available for Microsoft Windows and Linux host platforms.

Simics has the ability to execute a system in forward and reverse direction.[5] Reverse debugging can illuminate how an exceptional condition or bug occurred. When executing an OS such as Linux in reverse using Simics, previously deleted files reappear when the deletion point is passed in reverse and scrolling and other graphical display and console updates occur backwards as well.

See also[edit]

  • ARM Fastsim, an instruction-set simulator and set of system models for ARM IP.
  • OVPsim, a full system simulation framework which is free for non-commercial use, and which comes with over 100 open source models and platforms that run Linux, Android, and many other operating systems.
  • Qemu, open-source program that can do full-system simulation in the same way as Simics.
  • SPIM, MIPS processor simulator designed to run R2000, R3000 etc.


  1. ^ "Simics Hindsight: Reverse Execution for Software Debugging". Virtual Strategy. May 4, 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-06-24.
  2. ^ "Wind River to Add Virtutech Simics Products to Comprehensive Embedded Software Portfolio". Wind River Systems. February 5, 2010.
  3. ^ "Simics used to port an OS". NetBSD Wiki. NetBSD.
  4. ^ "Simics 5 is here - More Parallel than Ever". Wind River Blog. June 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Engblom, Jakob. "Back to Reverse Execution". Wind River Blog. Wind River. Retrieved 3 July 2016.

External links[edit]