A View from the Top: A Virtual Prototyping Blog


Getting Up To Speed on SystemC TLM-2.0

BrueghelBabel I have been writing about the advantages about SystemC TLM-2.0 in the context of virtual platforms quite a bit, for example at SystemC TLM-2.0: Why it is a big deal!.

Most importantly, for fast virtual platforms, the TLM-2.0 APIs make sure that we do not face a tower of Babel situation (See one of my favorite Bruegel’s drawing on the left).  For the last decade or so the virtual platform vendors used proprietary APIs to build fast virtual platforms. Now they are all moving to TLM-2.0 APIs, which truly enables interoperability. At Synopsys we are the first having made the full transition – we have separated our virtual platform tools from the libraries. Our DesignWare System-Level Library runs in every SystemC compliant simulator, including the OSCI engine and the other virtual platform vendor’s engines.

At last DVCon OSCI recorded a three hour tutorial on TLM-2.0, which I would highly recommend. It describes in detail how TLM-2.0 defines the interoperability standard that allows model reuse for software development and performance analysis as well as architecture analysis. The actual features supported include generic transaction payload for memory mapped busses with payload extension mechanisms allowing users to instrument their virtual platforms with timing in loosely timed (LT) and approximately timed (AT) modes. The adoption of TLM-2.0 minimizes the need for bridges or adaptors to connect models together and it supports multiple, compatible abstraction levels. As a result users get high simulation speed, debug and analysis capabilities, and of course interoperability between vendors.

The detailed agenda is as follows:

Introduction and Welcome
Jack Donovan, President, XtremeEDA USA
Overview of TLM-2.0 Features
John Aynsley, Technical Director, Doulos
TLM Mechanics
David Black, ESL Technologist, XtremeEDA
TLM 2.0 Nuances
John Aynsley, Technical Director, Doulos
Performance Modeling Using TLM 2.0
Zhu Zhou, Component Design Engineer, Intel
Applying TLM 2.0 to Legacy Platforms
Frank Schirrmeister, Director, Product Marketing, System-Level Solutions, Synopsys

The tutorial is about three hours and can be found here. It is well worth the time investment!

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