Electronic Design

SystemC Closes The C-To-RTL Gap

When the SystemC language appeared on the scene as a new open-source language in 1999, it caused considerable confusion among designers. What is this SystemC thing? Is it a hardware design language? It can’t be if it’s based on C++, can it? Is it a behavioral-level language, then? If it is, why is it so RTL-like? Does it replace Verilog and VHDL? Just what is it for, anyway?

Five years later, all of these questions have been answered. Not only is SystemC here to stay, but it’s found its sweet spot in SoC design methodologies. Initially embraced by adventurous system architects in Europe and Japan, it’s now seeing broader use in North America as well. Successful designs using SystemC are rampant as many organizations incorporate the language into their methodologies.

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