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µVision allows developers to execute and debug their programs on Arm processor simulations without using a physical target and debug hardware.

Arm Fixed Virtual Platforms (FVPs) are complete simulations of Arm systems, including processor, memory and peripherals. FVPs for Cortex-M cores are available with the MDK-Professional edition or free-of-charge. For legacy architectures and some Cortex-M cores µVision also provides instruction set simulations.

Powerful µVision debug capabilities such as Event Recorder, Data and Event Trace, and Code Coverage are fully supported on simulations as well.

Free Simulation of Cortex-M55


Learn how to download and install the free Corstone-300 FVP to simulate an Arm Cortex-M55 using Keil MDK.

Use Simulations

µVision uses the Fast Models Debugger Driver for debugging applications simulated with Fixed Virtual Platform or Fast Models. Refer to Fast Models Debugger Configuration for more information.

µVision instruction set simulations can be enabled in Project -> Options for Target -> Debug tab. Select Use Simulator on the left-hand side of the window. Refer to the description of the Debug dialog.

Simulation Advantages

  • Early Access: Perform proof of concept implementations.
  • CI support:  Fast execution and support for Continuous Integration workflow.
  • Inject Dangerous Faults: Simulate conditions critical to hardware without risk.
  • Full Visibility​: Powerful µVision debug capabilities provide full insight into the system to analyze failures.


  • Peripheral Access: Software access to peripheral registers cannot be tested in most cases or will behave differently (refer to KB 3726).
  • Memory Timing: Any simulation can only assume ideal conditions for memory access. It does not simulate wait states for data or code fetches.

Simulated Processor Cores

The following Arm cores can be simulated using MDK Version 5, FVPs and the ARM::CMSIS Software Pack:

  • Arm Cortex-M0 / M0+ / M3 / M4 / M7* / M23* / M33* / M35P* / M55*
  • Arm SecurCore 000 / 300
  • Arm Corstone 300* (Cortex-M55 reference system, FVP download)
  • ARM7** and ARM9**

*   these cores can be simulated only using a corresponding Fixed Virtual Platform
** for simulating these cores MDK v4 Legacy Pack needs to be installed

Complete Device Simulation

For some devices it is possible to simulate the behavior of the on-chip peripherals, not only the processor core. This legacy device simulation is still available and can also be used together with MDK Version 5 projects.

The page Simulation of Cortex-M Devices provides information about the simulatable devices and how to enable complete device simulation in µVision.

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