OSCI Releases Transaction-Level Modeling Standard Draft 2

The Open SystemC Initiative (OSCI), an independent non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing SystemC(TM) as an industry standard language for electronic system-level (ESL) design, announced the milestone release of the new transaction-level modeling standard, TLM-2 draft 2. This standard enables model interoperability and reuse at the transaction level, providing an essential framework for ESL design. The public review period is now open to the worldwide SystemC community and ends on January 31, 2008. SystemC users, ESL tool developers and intellectual property (IP) providers are encouraged to participate and provide feedback. The TLM-2 draft 2 kit is made available under open source license and includes a requirements specification, documentation, library and examples.

“This is a major step forward that has been accomplished through many months of diligent work by ESL, EDA, IP, Semiconductor, and SystemC service providers,” said Michael Meredith, president and acting chairman of OSCI. “Bringing such a diverse group together — and having them all pull on the same end of the rope to develop an interoperability standard where they can agree that the standard meets the needs of all their constituencies — is a rare accomplishment in our industry, or in any industry.”

“The TLM working group (WG) is very enthusiastic about TLM-2 draft 2. The draft squarely addresses feedback received during the initial public review. This has led to improvements in the technology and the collateral needed to understand and apply it,” said OSCI TLM WG Chair, Trevor Wieman. “The scope has been expanded for this draft to satisfy key performance requirements and to fully support approximately-timed modeling, which was originally slated for a later release. We look forward to this final round of review and refinement leading to approval of the OSCI standard early in 2008.

Design at the transaction level enables users to efficiently develop system-on-chip (SoC) virtual prototypes to assist in architecture analysis and enable early software development, before availability of structural-level models. Transaction-level models can be reused in functional verification environments as a golden reference for validation of intellectual property in the context of the system. The OSCI TLM-2 standard not only makes the development of interoperable ESL tools possible, but it also provides the essential framework needed for model exchange within companies and across the IP supply chain.

“System-level design is becoming an increasingly vital technology across the electronics industry,” said Ken Tallo, director of ESL Programs in Intel’s SoC Enabling Group. “Hence, model interoperability is a fundamental necessity. The TLM-2 draft 2 kit represents a big step towards delivering a viable interoperability standard by improving and expanding TLM in a cohesive and comprehensive manner. We’re looking forward to feedback from the user community, as this is a very important step in the standardization process.”

TLM-2 Draft 2 Requirements
Designed for use with IEEE Std. 1666(TM)-2005, “Standard SystemC Language Reference Manual” and OSCI’s standard TLM-1 transport API, TLM-2 incorporates feedback from the first draft with focus on the modeling of systems based on memory-mapped busses and on-chip communication networks. Models have been categorized according to a range of criteria, including granularity of time, frequency of model evaluation, functional abstraction, communication abstraction and use cases. TLM-2 takes the approach of distinguishing between interfaces (APIs) and untimed, loosely-timed and approximately-timed coding styles. Each coding style can support a range of abstraction across functionality, timing and communication.

Overview of Features
TLM-2 consists of a set of core interfaces, analysis ports, initiator and target sockets and the generic payload. The core interfaces include the TLM-1 APIs together with blocking and non-blocking transport interfaces, the direct memory interface (DMI), the debug transaction interface and the analysis interface. The generic payload defines the data structure needed for abstract modeling of memory-mapped systems, together with an extension mechanism for developing specific communication protocols while maximizing interoperability. Using the core TLM-2 interfaces, sockets and generic payload in concert is recommended for maximum interoperability.

Public Review Timeline
SystemC users, ESL tool developers and IP providers are encouraged to participate in the public review of TLM-2 draft 2 through January 31, 2008. At that time, the OSCI TLM working group will consolidate feedback and incorporate refinements. OSCI will present the results of the public review and feedback at a TLM tutorial during the Design and Verification Conference (DVCon) on February 19, 2008 in San Jose, California. Approval of an official OSCI standard is planned for the first half of 2008.

About SystemC and OSCI
The Open SystemC(TM) Initiative (OSCI) is an independent, not-for-profit association composed of a broad range of organizations dedicated to supporting and advancing SystemC as an open industry standard for system-level modeling, design and verification. SystemC is a language built in C++ that spans from concept to implementation in hardware and software.

IEEE Std. 1666(TM)-2005 is a trademark of the IEEE.