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Architectural Exploration


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What is SystemC ? Roughly I think it's a language or more specifically a library useful to create software representation (not synthesizable) of an hardware at an abstarction level higher than RTL (- which is synthesizable).

Please correct me if I am wrong, Also help me with some standardize definition.


What is architectural exploration ? And How SystemC and TLM is useful for it ?


If someone working in a systemC domain, could they classify themselves as a software engineer ? Where does it classify ? Which is more appropriate semiconductor industory , EDA or ESL domain ?


How someone working in systemC explains their Job to someone non-technical person ?


PS: If this question is not appropriate for this forum, then please help me with some details where I could find my answers. I believe these questions must be answered before someone starts learning it.

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SystemC is super-set of C++, which gives designer ability to simulate concurrent processes that makes it suitable for defining hardware modules containing parallel processes. It is using plain C++ syntax, so SystemC is more like a library extension.


SystemC platform is not always cannot be synthesized, it depends on the abstraction level (use cases) you are in. You can build a platform using SystemC (perhaps with TLM) on a particular abstraction level (choose one that target your pain in D/V the most) that can be synthesized, just like RTL you can't simply synthesize a behavioral RTL design. For the synthesize part, you can go for the HLS tool to give you the HDL code based on your SystemC model. There are the free one like Panda and xPilot, and also the paid one from Forte Design Systems, Cadence, etc.


Architectural exploration is the ability for a designer to measure their architecture performances and do exploration on it, to get the best performance of it. In SystemC with TLM, generally speaking you can create your model easier and run the simulation faster compare to RTL, in this sense architecture exploration in this level is more favourable.

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