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From VHDL Register Transfer Level to SystemC Transaction Level Modeling: A Comparative Case Study

Ney CalazansEdson MorenoFabiano HesselVitor RosaFernando MoraesEverton Carara

Transaction level (TL) modeling is regarded today as the next step in the direction of complex integrated circuits and systems design entry. This means that as this modeling level definition evolves, automated synthesis tools will increasingly support it, allowing design capture to start at a higher abstraction level than today. This work presents a comparison of traditional register transfer level (RTL) modeling and transaction level modeling through the implementation of a simple processor case study. SystemC is a language that naturally supports hardware transaction level descriptions. The R8 processor was described in SystemC TL and RTL versions and these were compared to an equivalent hand-coded VHDL RTL description in some key points, such as simulation efficiency and implementation results. The experiments indicate that TL descriptions present a faster path to system validation and that it is possible to envisage the automation of the design flow from this level of abstraction without significant impact on the quality of the final implementation.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/8726/27627/01232853.pdf?tp=&arnumber=1232853&isnumber=27627

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