Yesterday I attended an event held by ARM. It was quite interesting, as they presented their roadmaps, new products and solutions.
About their tools: RVDS is their internally produced IDE, now at version 4.0. The news is that version 5.0 will be based on Eclipse. This is consistent with ARM philosophy: as silicon partners outsource core design to ARM, ARM outsources IDE development to Eclipse foundation. The hope here is that ARM will improve the platform, and it will bring benefits to every other environment based on Eclipse. They also stressed the importance of having more compilers for their processors, including open source ones. The toolchain will also include a profile feedback, that will improve performance of compiled software through the famous Profile Guided Optimization, the same procedure that Mozilla uses to provide an efficient binary of Firefox for Windows, for example.
The event included a demonstration of a set of simulators (called Fast Models) that are mainly used to implement software before the hardware is ready. They are basically virtual machines, and can be expanded with custom peripherals (written in SystemC for example) and can be connected to serial port emulators, LCD emulators, ethernet virtual ports and debuggers. The performance of those virtual machines were quite impressive but not real time: they were comparable with modern virtual machines without hardware accelerators: a full Symbian OS or Android booted in half a minute.