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Tracing ESL


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Well, good enough when they were brought into SystemC business but definitely not now.


SystemC is with us for past 15 years and associated tracing mechanism too. But everybody knows how rapid ESL changed over past 15 years and I think this is the time when LWG might consider giving a thought on updating tracing mechanism which bring in digital, analog and TLM together - with various type of analog simulation especially under consideration.


VCD files were good enough but the file size easily goes over GBs during debugging a relatively big SoC, furthermore they are signal tracer which is gradually has become not that much SystemC business - why not thinking out a compressed binary standard.


I see everybody struggling with an updated language which has a backdated debugger and trying to curve out solutions on their own and as a result the situation is messy. 


SystemC is the principal initiator in the ESL world - if LWG does not take initiative, nobody will and things will be messy.


Regards, Sumit

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Fully agree, here my thoughts:


Best thing would be to reuse something existing.

But i don't think that there is an open solution that covers all digital,analog tlm ( and maybe  logging).


First thing to decide is the approach:

* stream approach (like vcd -- can be also compressed) - easier to implement - faster logging

* db approach - can be quite complicated - faster reading




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Hi Sumit,


I agree that VCD is past it sell by date but don't forget that OSCI is just a reference design, it is not a commercial product.  All commercial SystemC simulators come with a wide range of debugging and logging capabilities including TLM and Analog.


I don't think Accellera will have much interest in improving the VCD capabilities especially when there are other more urgent area's (like SCV, SC-UVM) that needs attention. They also don't want to make OSCI to powerful/capable as this could impact commercial offerings.



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personally I'm indeed interested in proposals towards extended interfaces for extracting information from SystemC simulations.  In fact, there is some activity in that area underway, but please don't count on any short-term availability for now.  You may be interested in my recent presentation at ESCUG'28.


Introspection in general is on the charter of the CCIWG. In this working group, we're currently focusing on configuration first.  Some parts may still be needed from the language/kernel side of things, as we currently don't even have a safe, reliable mechanism to extract information during the simulation.  Interfaces to provide tracing data to some backends could be improved as well.  As Hans already said, commercial tools already provide powerful analysis backends.  IMHO, this backend side is out of the scope of standardization.


In general, the Accellera SystemC working groups are usually always quite busy and have limited resources to work on all of the interesting improvements that you can think of.  On the other hand, with the new SystemC community uploads area here at accellera.org, you can easily share your own experiments and proposals, even without formally joining the Accellera Systems Initiative.


Greetings from Oldenburg,

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