DrMIPS: graphical simulator of MIPS processors


If you are passionate about electronics, architecture and the world of microprocessors, you are sure to love the software drMIPS. It is the next program to be presented in this atypical series of articles in which I will be showing programs that are not so well known, but that can be the most interesting and practical for many users.

DrMIPS is a MIPS processor graphics simulator. In this way, teaching about this architecture that has been opened following the steps of POWER, RISC-V, etc. can be supported. In addition, it is a very intuitive environment to provide simplicity to the user, versatile and configurable. You'll find it for multiple platforms, including GNU / Linux and Android distros. If you are interested, you will find it in the apps stores or in yourofficial site on GitHub.

The program is open source and free, under the GPLv3 license, so it can be used without restrictions, modified, redistributed, etc. And between her CARACTERISTICS can be highlighted:

  • You can simulate unicycle and pipeline versions of MIPS processor.
  • The datapath is displayed graphically to see how the data moves through the architecture.
  • Allows step-by-step execution and step back.
  • You can edit registers and data memory during execution.
  • It has a performance mode where latencies are also simulated and the critical path of the processor is shown.
  • Data paths and instruction sets can be created thanks to its configurability.
  • Custom components.
  • Integrated code editor, with syntax highlighting and autocompletion (PC version only).
  • Data presented in binary, decimal, or hexadecimal.
  • Various light and dark themes to choose the look of the environment.
  • This implies that instructions that have their own data path cannot be displayed, furthermore, instructions like JAR, JR, SYSCALLs and floating point are not supported, just a very basic set for educational use.

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