The mobile and handheld wireless industry is one of the fastest growing and fastest evolving application areas in electronics. There are many factors driving this growth and evolution, including the attractiveness of cellular technology in areas without traditional infrastructure and landlines, the general adoption of cell phones around the world, and the integration of additional functions into these cell phones. Internet access capabilities, music players, digital cameras (both still image and live video), personal digital assistant (PDA) applications, and global positioning system (GPS) functions are just some of the features that come almost standard on many cell phones nowadays.

In order to design an optimal architecture and to develop the hardware and software portions of the system in a timely manner, designers are increasingly using virtual system prototypes (VSPs), which are high-performance software simulationbased, cycle-, register-, and timing-accurate models of an entire system.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 5, No. 2, 2006