I’m super excited about a fully open platform but I’m a little lost and very new to the embedded development workflow. I have been looking through the Risc V and SiFive websites trying to work out how to start with writing system code for the HiFive Unleashed. I want to start with the 2nd stage boot loader and work up to a simple operating system. Funds are a big constraint - this is a learning journey for me, not a job. Although the experience I gain may change that in the long run.
I want to work on a multi-core 64 bit platform. The U540 and HiFive Unleashed look fantastic. Unfortunately, the $1000USD price tag of the HiFive Unleashed and the much higher price of the FPGA development board mean they aren’t an option. I have access to some reasonably well spec’s computers so I’m hoping software simulation is viable.
Is anyone successfully doing software simulation to write this kind of software? I don’t mind if it runs at 10% of the speed of the real thing; as long as it accurately simulates the real thing.
When I look at the Risc V website it has a long list of simulators. However, only Imperes/OVPSim and QEmu call out support for SiFive specifically. What software actually works well in practice and has good getting started information/community?
OR am I just a bit naive and I can’t really do what I want to without hardware?