Software Synthesis of SystemC Models


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Virginia Tech


Technological advances are providing us with the capability to integrate more and more functionality into a single chip. This is leading to a new design paradigm, System On a Chip (SOC). In SOC designs all the functionality of a system is put inside a single chip, leading to increased performance, reduced power consumption, lower costs, and reduced size. SOC design brings with it new challenges and difficulties, however. The designs are now large, complicated and involve both software and hardware components. The designs have to be modeled at a high level of abstraction before partitioning into hardware and software components for final implementation.

SystemC is a system level modeling language useful for System On a Chip design. It provides various features to perform system level modeling and simulation, which are missing in the generic HDL's such as VHDL and Verilog. The hardware portion of the SystemC models can be synthesized into hardware using commercial tools . The software portion can be rewritten as embedded software for the target processor.

The aim of this thesis is to explore the SOC design process and to define methods for software synthesis of SystemC models. Software synthesis involves translation of SystemC models into code that is suitable for execution on an embedded processor. A simple scheduler that replaces the SystemC simulation kernel is proposed. This scheduler allows SystemC models to be executed directly as embedded software without the need for extensive modification or translation. Application of this process to the development of a GSM speech processing system, including the translation of part of the SystemC model into software that will execute on an embedded processor, is shown and the results are presented.



SystemC, Software Synthesis, Embedded software, GSM