Electronic Design

SystemC Tool Weds HW And SW Concepts

Although many designers have begun incorporating electronic-system-level (ESL) methodologies into their design flows, some still look for tools that complete the path to implementation. Summit Design's Vista design environment for SystemC looks to fill that gap by combining hardware and software concepts to speed the design and debug of SystemC applications.

Vista provides a native, source-based SystemC platform that lets designers with HDL backgrounds quickly learn C++/SystemC design techniques. It can be used as a standalone tool. Or, it can be integrated with Summit's System Architect for performance analysis and with the Visual Elite ESL graphical environment.

Traditionally, designers will use software integrated development environments (IDEs) to develop C++ software applications. These text-based environments lack a graphical design view, though, and that's a customary feature for hardware designers. SystemC provides hardware-oriented constructs within the context of C++ as a class library implemented in standard C++.

Vista's Data Introspection capabilities provide both hardware module views and software class views of the design, enabling users to more easily understand and debug SystemC code. The Design View visualizes the hardware structure implied in the code, which itself can be viewed in the Code View with a single click.

Vista is available now, with prices starting at $5000 for a one-year license. It's currently available for Linux. A Windows XP version is expected to be released shortly.

Summit Design Inc.

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