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  • Why Use Proteus VSM?

    Supported Silicon Vendors

    Proteus VSM was the first product to bridge the gap between schematic and PCB for embedded design, offering system level simulation of microcontroller based designs inside the schematic package itself.

    Over ten years later, Proteus VSM is still leading the field with more microcontroller variants and peripherals than any competing product, better debugging tools and instruments and a consistent focus on innovation.

    This page outlines some of the benefits to using Proteus VSM as an embedded prototyping tool in your workflow.

    Flexibility

    Key Points


    • » An Experimental Canvas for Design
    • » Write Firmware for Virtual Hardware
    • » Change Either Quickly and Easily
    • » Freedom to Create, Test and Perfect

    Proteus VSM provides a unique development platform for the embedded engineer. It allows you to specify a program (HEX file, COF File, ELF/DWARF2 File, UBROF File etc) as a property of the microcontroller part on the schematic and during simulation will show you the effects of the program on the schematic you have created.

    You can change your 'hardware' by rewiring the schematic, changing component values for resistors, capacitors etc. and deleting or adding new components to the design. You can change your firmware in the IDE of your choice and, once compiled, test the new code on the new system at the press of a button.

    This gives you total freedom to experiment with different ideas and to find the optimal design solution for his project. The schematic serves as a 'virtual prototpye' for the firmware and it's quick and easy to make changes to either.

    Productivity

    Key Points


    • » Faster Bug Fixes
    • » Fewer Design Iterations
    • » Enables Parallel Development
    • » Shorter Time to Market

    Typically, engineers spend as much time finding and fixing problems and testing projects as they do in creating them in the first place. This is an area where Proteus VSM excels.

    When you set a breakpoint in your code the entire system stops when that line of code is reached. When you then single step the entire system will advance, showing you the effects of the execution of that line of code on your schematic (virtual prototype). This makes it easier to work out where a particular problem lies and whether the software design or hardware design is at fault.

    Since the schematic is serving as the hardware it is perfectly possible to divide tasks and for one person to develop the PCB layout whilst another uses the schematic as the basis for writing, testing and debugging the firmware. This means that when the physical prototype finally arrives from the manufacturer the firmware has already been completed and tested.

    Since the system has been debugged and tested in software it will require fewer physical design iterations and the product will therefore be market ready sooner.

    Cost

    Key Points


    • » Reduced Development Time
    • » Reduced Debugging/Testing Time
    • » Reduced Manufacturing Delays
    • » Reduced Equipment Costs
    • » Reasonable Cost of Ownership

    As discussed above, Proteus VSM will save time and effort during the design phase and in the testing/debugging phase. Both of these translate into cost savings for a project and these savings multiply with each additional project undertaken.

    The ability to use the schematic in Proteus as a virtual prototype for firmware design and debugging improves the quality of the physical prototype. Less design iterations mean less delays at manufacturing and indeed lower manufacturing costs.

    Proteus comes equipped with a rich suite of instrumentation and analysis tools, from DSO to Logic Analyser to I2C and SPI Protocol Analysers. This makes it a mobile electronic workbench and reduces the need for expensive physical equipment.

    The purchase cost of Proteus VSM is itself extremely competitive and Labcenter are committed to maintaining the highest levels of price/performance.


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