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Efficient embedded software development using QEMU

Pradyumna Sampath, ABB Corporate Research, Bangalore
Rachana Rao, ABB Corporate Research, Bangalore

Software based processor emulators have been around for a long time and predominantly used by developers of Operating Systems. With virtualization technology becoming more common and gaining in-processor support, these emulators have expanded to support several processor architectures and a richer feature set. Consequently, popular operating systems such as Linux have been adapted to run within virtual environments seamlessly. As part of the software development process, this virtualization technology has huge potential to increase product quality and developer efficiency.

This paper looks at employing virtualization for in-house real-time application software development through QEMU, a popular open source emulator. It also details the process of establishing such an environment and looks at some of the advantages of such a development model for embedded systems.