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Getting Started with the Cadence Virtual System Platform: Software Developer

Comments(1)Filed under: Virtual System Platform, Eclipse

Cadence Software Developer is an exciting Eclipse-based product for developing, debugging, and analyzing embedded software. It has a long list of powerful capabilities that will make your job a lot easier - including transparent and intuitive one-click launch of the virtual platform simulator, multi-core, multi-process, multi-OS embedded software debug, hardware-aware software debug, and analysis via a programmer's view of hardware. It has integrated bare-metal, operating system, and Linux application debugging. Today, I'm going to hold off on the details and start with the most common question I get: "How do I install Software Developer?"

There are two basic ways to get up and running: using the Eclipse RCP or the Eclipse plug-in installation. I'll go into a little detail about each in the following two sections.

Software Developer Eclipse RCP

RCP is Eclipse-speak for Rich Client Platform, but all you need to know about this method is that it's the fastest way to get going if you have a VSP install. If you have Incisive 13.1 or newer, you already have it!

Presuming you have your environment set up correctly to run the simulator, you can just launch it! The only thing that is really needed is to add `ncroot`/tools/bin to your PATH variable.

$ vsp_eclipse &

You'll be prompted to enter the location for your workspace and the directory where Eclipse keeps information about projects you are working on. Then you'll see the VSP splash screen, and you are ready to go.

Of course you'll need a Software Developer license to do any actual work. Before you get started you can take a short tour by going through two VSP cheat sheets: a tutorial related to getting started that includes information on importing a virtual platform, creating a launch configuration, and deploying software; and a tutorial on the debug and analysis views of VSP Software Developer. Cheat Sheets are a form of tutorial help in Eclipse. Each module includes a live action that can show how a feature is to be used, but can also serve as a bookmark to get to views and features.

Choose Help->Cheat Sheets to bring up the VSP Debug and Analysis cheat sheets:


Below is the second Cheat Sheet on the list:


The Software Developer RCP version comes equipped with not only the VSP plug-ins, but the full functionality of Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tooling) and the Remote System Explorer, a plug-in that helps you easily access information on remote machines directly from the Eclipse IDE.

Most Eclipse users have other plug-ins they find useful for getting work done. Personally, I can't edit any code without vim key bindings so I get the vim plug-in Vrapper. As long as you have write permission for your tool installation, you can use the Help "Install New Software" or "Eclipse Marketplace" to find and install any Eclipse Indigo-compatible plug-ins that you are interested in using.

But what if you already have an Indigo installation of Eclipse configured exactly like you want it? As long as you don't have any rogue Eclipse framework plug-ins (meaning that the core Eclipse plug-ins were modified from the public versions available from the http://www.eclipse.org/), there is another way to use Software Developer with your own Eclipse installation.

Software Developer Eclipse Plug-in Installation

Software Developer contains a set of Eclipse plug-ins that can be installed into your own Indigo version of Eclipse. Presuming you have already installed and have your own Eclipse running, you need to do the following to install the Software Developer plug-in:

  • Get the VSP Software Developer "p2 archive" that contains the Eclipse plugins from the VSP install
  • Use Eclipse to install the plug-ins
  • Restart Eclipse
  • Proceed as with the RCP version

The p2 archive is a single file that can be installed by using the "Help->Install new Software" menu item. Just point to the p2 archive and follow the instructions to complete the installation.

The p2 archive can be found in 13.1 or newer installation tree at:  


The archive is a zip file in the form of com.cadence.vsp.feature_1.0.0.zip (the version number will change with revisions).

Make sure to click the "Add" button and then click "Archive". (Some people mistakenly click "Local" since the file is a local file on your machine.) Then navigate to the .zip file listed above and click OK.

That's it - you're ready to go with Software Developer. Be sure to let me know if you have any issues with installation, Cheat Sheets, and VSP help in Eclipse. I know it's old school, but also remember that the VSP User Guide is also your friend.

Either way, you will have a new VSP Eclipse Perspective that can be used to run a virtual platform simulation.

Next time we'll look at how to quickly launch embedded software on a virtual platform simulation.

Jason Andrews


By Rafael Zuralski on October 10, 2013
I faced a problem with the installation of the Software Developer Eclipse Plug-in under CentOS 6.2. During installation, following package couldn't be found:  log4j-1.12.13
A copy of this package from the Incisive installaion to the Eclipse plugin folder solved my problem:
a) Copy from Incisive:
b) To "ECLIPSE/plugins"

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