Get to Market Early with Altera SoC FPGA Virtual Target    


"Being able to deliver a Virtual Target based on Synopsys' virtual prototyping technology is key to helping our customers address the growing software complexity in their SoC FPGA-based designs." — Vince Hu, vice president of product and corporate marketing, Altera Corporation.

Altera's Virtual Target

The Altera SoC FPGA Virtual Target is a PC-based, fast, functional simulation of an embedded development board with Altera's Cyclone V SoC or Arria V SoC FPGA at its heart. With the SoC FPGA Virtual Target, users can create device-specific production software which can run unmodified on real hardware. The Virtual Target can be extended with Altera’s optional FPGA-in-the-loop extension over a PCIe® interface to perform software-driven verification of custom IP and system integration. Altera used Synopsys' Virtual Prototyping Solution to create the Virtual Target because of its comprehensive and proven technology, highly productive debugging and analysis tools for multicore platforms and broad model portfolio, which includes transaction-level models of ARM® Cortex™-A9 and DesignWare® IP.

For more information, see an interview with an Altera software developer, Altera's Virtual Target press release, Altera's Cyclone V / Arria V SoC FPGA press release, Synopsys' press release, and the Virtual Target introduction video.


  • Going to Market Months ahead of Silicon: The Altera SoC FPGA Virtual Target is available months before silicon is available. Because the Virtual Target is binary- and register-compatible with the hardware that it simulates, software projects can begin well in advance of hardware availability, ensuring the shortest project development time and maximum portability to the final hardware target when available.
  • Accelerating Software Development: Altera's software development teams and partners have already been using the Virtual Target to port operating systems such as Linux and VxWorks as well as develop complex device drivers. Their internal usage of the Virtual Target resulted in significant productivity increases compared to the use of traditional development platforms such as emulators and hardware simulators. Developers were able to debug and fix software defects in a matter of days rather than weeks or months, enabling Altera to deliver fully pre-integrated and tested software stacks with the Virtual Target.
  • Debuggers and Operating Systems Support: Users of the Altera SoC FPGA Virtual Target benefit from a broad set of embedded software development tools integrated with the Virtual Target. These include the GNU tools, ARM RVDS, DS-5 and the Lauterbach TRACE32 debugger. The Virtual Target can boot Linux right out of the box. A Board Support Package for Wind River VxWorks will be available later in the year, with more BSPs to come for other leading operating systems.

virtual target

Availability: The Altera SoC FPGA Virtual Target is available from Altera. For more information about Altera's latest SoC FPGAs, click here.

About Synopsys Virtual Prototyping Solution: Synopsys' Virtual Prototyping Solution includes the Virtualizer tool set, a broad portfolio of transaction-level models, and services. This solution enables early software development, hardware/software integration and system validation. For more information about Synopsys' Virtualizer tool set or the comprehensive solution, click here.

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