Denali Releases SystemRDL Language Specification

Denali today announced the production release of the SystemRDL(TM) language specification. SystemRDL replaces the former RDL language specification, and includes numerous extensions and enhancements to enable hardware designers and software developers with a common language for describing and managing control registers for system on chip (SoC) development. Any company can now obtain the SystemRDL specification without paying royalties or license fees. The specification is available online.

“We are very pleased with the support we’ve received from our customers and partners to enhance and extend the original RDL language in a meaningful way,” said Mark Gogolewski, CTO at Denali Software. “SystemRDL addresses a critical element of SoC design with the appropriate language for describing and managing registers that bridges the disciplines of hardware design, verification, and software development.

By opening the language specification, we are accelerating the ecosystem and enabling more companies to benefit from the standard.”

Configuration registers exist in all semiconductor chips and IP products, often numbering in the thousands. These registers store key data that define the chip’s operation, and usually represent the largest portion of the chip specification or programmers guide.

“SystemRDL is a robust language that addresses a critical need in SoC design today,” said Jonathan Michelson, Author of the book: The Art of Verification with System Verilog Assertions. “The ability to specify control registers at a higher level of abstraction is very powerful, and integrates will with the emerging SystemVerilog methodologies for SoC design and verification.”

SystemRDL is used to describe the details of register structures and operation, enabling automatic generation of synthesizable register code, models, documentation, and other specialized views for internal hardware design, software development.

This eliminates the manual and error prone processes of developing registers and maintaining consistent and accurate views across the diverse teams involved in system designs.

“Cadence is very supportive of open standards that benefit the design community at large,” said Victor Berman, Group Director for Language Standards at Cadence. “SystemRDL in particular addresses a key need to enable more efficient design interaction between hardware and software developers. We applaud Denali’s choice to open the SystemRDL language specification, and we look forward to participating in future standardization efforts.”

The language is also supported by founding members of the RDL Alliance announced earlier this year, which is also being renamed as the SystemRDL Alliance. Founding members include Denali Software, Mentor Graphics, MIPS, and Rambus. These and other key partners share a common goal in promoting the standard use of SystemRDL in the development and delivery of intellectual property (IP) products used in SoC designs.

Using SystemRDL to automate the generation of all necessary register views enables significant productivity gains in IP design and integration efficiency, and increases overall quality through a correct-by-construction methodology.

“Using standards is critical to developing and supporting high quality, re-usable IP for our customers,” said Bill Martin, General Manager of Mentor Graphics IP division. “Using SystemRDL as part of our IP specification and creation process, along with the XML IP databook provided by The SPIRIT Consortium, means that our IP can be quickly and reliably deployed and integrated into our customer designs.”

Denali is working with key partners and customers to move the SystemRDL language towards into an industry standards body.

For more information about SystemRDL, or how to join the SystemRDL Alliance, go online.

About Denali Software
Denali Software Inc. is the world’s leading provider of Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and Intellectual Property (IP) products for design and verification of semiconductor chip interfaces. Denali’s Databahn(TM) products provide optimal control and data throughput for external DRAM and Flash memory devices. Spectra(TM) is a fully featured flash file system for NAND and NOR memory systems. PureSpec(TM) and MMAV(TM) verification IP products support all standard interfaces, including DRAM, Flash, PCI Express, ASI, AMBA, USB, Ethernet, Serial ATA, and CE-ATA. Denali’s Blueprint(TM) SystemRDL compiler provides a complete solution for on-chip register design and management. For more information, call: +1 (650) 461-7200 or email

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