VLAB in 2022

In 2022 VLAB Works is taking to its customers innovative new technologies and products advancing the industry in cost effective access and scalability, in performance, and in end user capabilities.

Starting with a refresh of vlabworks.com, customers can find a new range of VLAB products and an extended list of VLAB toolboxes providing solutions for industry leading third party embedded architectures.

I already use VLAB … what’s changed?

If you are already using VLAB, you will continue to have access to the same VLAB products, toolboxes, and features through the VLAB Essentials Express and Suite products. Existing and new customers of VLAB Essentials will receive, at no additional cost, the following new technologies and features introduced by VLAB in 2022. 

  • Multi-threaded simulation via the addition of a VLAB Hipersim virtualization engine.
  • Virtual Development Machines (VDM) of the Processor Architectures supporting their Virtual Platform Toolbox selections.
  • Seamless path for expansion and interoperation with VLAB Server for access to an unlimited number of VLAB instances on a companion server class host.
  • Seamless path for upgrade to VLAB Workstation for access to an unlimited number of VLAB instances on their desktop.

All existing VLAB installations and toolboxes, including customer specific scripts and integrations, will continue to work unchanged with all new VLAB products, Essentials, Workstation, Server, and Enterprise. 

What can I look forward to?

More Access

Out of the box solutions for end users capable of running end user software and applications and of immediate integration with end user test benches.

  • Virtual Development Machines
    VDMs, out of the box virtual machines of embedded computer architectures, with configurable hardware system architecture and off the shelf OS/BSP for immediate load and run of user software for leading market applications.
  • Processor Architecture Platforms
    ARM®, PowerPC®, RH850®, or TriCore® platforms pre-integrated for ultra fast performance and optimised for software development and test. Users will be able to select one or more on purchase to suit their needs, or will gain access to all architectures if they purchase VLAB Enterprise.
  • Ready for Integration and Test
    I/Os and APIs for rapid connection between VDMs or to third party test tools and environments.

More Scalability

Every embedded development project is different in scope, team size and access to resources. VLAB introduces a new range of products and pricing models to optimise and maximise the user, project, or enterprise wide access and scalability of value and of return on investment.

  • VLAB Essentials – For individuals or small teams who are looking to turn their PC into an embedded target work bench for development and test.
  • VLAB Workstation – Delivering to individuals or small project teams an unlimited number of VDMs on a single desktop host, either working independently or connected together.
  • VLAB Server – Delivering an unlimited number of VDMs on one or more server class hosts to an unlimited number of VLAB users. A companion to either Essentials or Workstation, Server replaces with uncounted access the counted licenses offered until now by VLAB Batch or CPU Farm. Server can be configured to match the capabilities of the host hardware, with unlimited expansion options to scale with the number of host cores and hosts.
  • VLAB Enterprise – Designed to enable businesses who are serious about using virtualization with company wide unlimited access. Unlimited access, meaning any number of users on any host, running any processor architecture, for the number of host CPU core resources the company has virtualised.

More Performance

New technologies which together deliver a new generation of performance, up to several times faster than real time for a high end embedded computer on a host PC.

  • Multi-processing
    VLAB Workstation, Server, or Enterprise for an unlimited number of VLAB instances running in parallel on multiple cores on the same or different host, for parallel tests or for parallel execution of of VLAB VDMs or Virtual Platforms.
  • Multi-threaded execution
    Hipersim multithreaded simulation kernel for fine grained concurrent simulation on a multicore host machine and for simulation acceleration scaling with the number of host cores.
  • Ultra fast CPU models and platforms
    Hipercore instruction set simulation of CPU cores and platforms, for faster than real time embedded CPU simulation on a host PC.

More Value

The virtualization of an embedded computer offers a range of advanced tools and capabilities for software development, debug, and test, not possible with hardware.
VLAB now offers editions for each product:

  • VLAB Express
    Simple workflow that can be used to replace the equivalent hardware for development and test. With Express, users will be able load software, interact via standard IO and debug with GDB.
  • VLAB Suite
    Unlocks the full power of virtualization to users who wish to take advantage of inbuilt tools and capabilities for debug and analysis, for interaction with the virtual hardware and a whole lot more. All of the previously optional tool ‘extras’ are now available in this all in one, premium package for the advanced development and test users and processes.

Example Deployment

What does a typical deployment of VLAB look like? Firstly some sample high level requirements:

  • Team of 6 software engineers distributed geographically.
  • Tasked with developing a new Linux Gateway application.

Continuous Development

VLAB Workstation Suite – enabling user seats for:

  • 4 – 6 concurrent users
  • VDM Processor Architecture, ARM V8A and Linux, with multiple Ethernet I/Os

Users can share licenses or each have access to a license to ensure immediate access. Each user can run multiple concurrent simulation session making local user regression testing faster.

Continuous Integration and Testing

VLAB Server Suite – enabled for shared use:

  • 24 CPU cores
  • Uncounted number of VDMs by any number of concurrent users

Capable of running unlimited concurrent simulation sessions, VLAB Server is ideal for continuous execution of tests. Interaction for users with the VDMs (simulation sessions), is via their VLAB Workstation instance, which gives access to running VDMs.

Still have questions?

If you are still left with questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are more than happy to have a conversation about how we can make VLAB work for you.