One challenge in developing complex software for embedded systems is the missing option of rapid prototyping in early stages of the development cycle. In this paper we present the use of the High Level Simulation Framework “Open Virtual Platforms” (OVP) for Software-in-the-Loop simulation of embedded control applications. Therefore, we investigate and evaluate different methods allowing the data exchange between the simulated platform and the host machine running the simulation environment. The insights we gain are used to design peripherals which appear to the simulated processor system like devices available on the targeted hardware platform and allow the access to files stored on the host machine on one hand, and the communication with hardware devices connected to the host on the other hand. In both cases the cross-compiled application code for the targeted embedded platform including the operating system (OS) and the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) can be executed by the virtual platform (VP) without any modifications. Additionally, we introduce a method for controlling the synchronization of OVP with the host, which can be us ... mehred to either run simulations in fast motion mode, or to collaborate with hardware devices or other applications. The approach is verified with two use cases: (1) a motor control application processing data by accessing files and (2) an image processing application interacting with real hardware devices directly coupled with the virtual platform.