STMicroelectronics Pioneers Major Breakthrough in SoC Design

Jun 13, 2005

Five years of research and development at STMicroelectronics are today revealed by the publication of a book on a novel chip design methodology. In their efforts, the authors of ‘Transaction Level Modeling with SystemC’ have pioneered the next practical level of abstraction for production digital designs, yielding significant improvements in productivity and first-time silicon success. This modeling concept is supported by the newly released TLM library standard by the Open SystemC Initiative (OSCI), introduced at this year’s Design Automation Conference in Anaheim, California (June 13-17, 2005).

The increasing complexity of Systems-on-Chip (SoCs), and the growing proportion of embedded software, is calling for new design methodologies. Transaction-Level Modeling bridges the gap between design productivity and process capacity by raising the level of abstraction in specifying and modeling an SoC design. The book, ‘Transaction-Level Modeling with SystemC,’ authored by an advanced R&D team from STMicroelectronics, presents an industry-proven approach to resolve critical system-level issues in today’s complex digital designs.

ST’s TLM solution, based on the open-source SystemC modeling language, has been proven to strike the right balance between abstraction and accuracy, efficiently accommodating early embedded software development, functional verification, and performance analysis. Employed as the executable functional specification to compare against the Register-Transfer-Level (RTL), un-timed TLM models are also assembled to build virtual prototype to develop significant software in parallel with hardware design. When complemented with timing information, the same models serve the needs of architecture analysis to ensure the compliance of an SoC design with real-time constraints of the targeted application.

Beyond these benefits, the new abstraction level also provides a single functional reference that is shared between software, hardware, and system-level engineers. Sharing this executable specification removes ambiguity, duplication of information, and most importantly, helps to detect architecture flaws before the cost of modification becomes too high. These capabilities allow reduction in design times up to 50 % over previous methodologies and help prevent silicon re-spins.

“We are witnessing a real paradigm shift in the way software and hardware engineers work with each other,” said Philippe Magarshack, Group Vice President of Central R&D at STMicroelectronics. “TLM allows us to deliver a prototype to customers before the RTL is frozen and therefore cuts time to market on a previously unattainable scale.”

‘Transaction-Level Modeling with SystemC’ (ed. Frank Ghenassia) published now by Kluwer Publishing, discusses solutions to enhance existing system-level methodologies, offers modeling guidelines, and helps IP suppliers provide TLM views of their components.

SystemC is an interoperable modeling platform which provides hardware-oriented constructs within the context of C++ as a class library implemented in standard C++. Its use spans design and verification from concept to implementation in hardware and software.
The Open SystemC Initiative (OSCI) is an independent not-for-profit organization composed of a broad range of companies, universities and individuals dedicated to supporting and advancing SystemC as an open source standard for system-level design.

Explore further: Ear-check via phone can ease path to diagnosis

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gift Guide: Home products come with connectivity

12 hours ago

Do you really need an app to tell you to brush and floss? It seems every household appliance is getting some smarts these days, meaning some connection to a phone app and the broader Internet. But then what?

Better software cuts computer energy use

10 hours ago

An EU research project is developing tools to help software engineers create energy-efficient code, which could reduce electricity consumption at data centres by up to 50% and improve battery life in smart ...

Ear-check via phone can ease path to diagnosis

1 hour ago

Ear infections are common in babies and young children. That it is a frequent reason for young children's visit to doctors comes as no consolation for the parents of babies tugging at their ears and crying ...

Intel has end-to-end reference model for IoT

Dec 12, 2014

Intel has declared its move to simplify and unify connectivity and security for the Internet of Things. Earlier this week, Intel announced platform, products and expanded company ecosystem designed to speed ...

3-D printer in high demand at NSLS-II

Dec 11, 2014

It looks like a coffee dispenser. But the nondescript grey box tucked against a wall in Bldg. 743 is actually a 3D printer. It's in high demand by scientists and engineers building beamlines for the National ...

Recommended for you

Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

1 hour ago

It's been four weeks since hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace began their cyberterrorism campaign against Sony Pictures Entertainment. In that time thousands of executive emails and other documents ...

Two more former Sony workers sue over data breach

1 hour ago

Two more former employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment are suing the company over the massive data breach in which their personal and financial information was stolen and posted online.

Second security clearance investigation contractor hacked

2 hours ago

Federal officials say the private files of 48,439 workers may have been compromised by a computer breach at government contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions Inc. The hacking incident is the second this year at a major ...

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

2 hours ago

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

3 hours ago

Online shopping has become as volatile as stock market trading. Wild, minute-by-minute price swings on everything from clothes to TVs have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to "buy low."

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.