V2X: An automated tool for building SystemC-based simulation environments in designing multicore systems-on-chips

Shih Hao Hung, Chia Heng Tu, Yuh Hung Liaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Simulation methodologies have been widely utilized to aid hardware/software co-design and shorten the development cycles of systems-on-chips (SoCs). For a complex multicore system, traditional hardware description languages (HDLs), such as Verilog and VHDL, consume too much time in a simulation and are far too slow to perform parallel programs and modern operating systems. Instead, SystemC provides a higherlevel environment to reduce the simulation time and is often a better choice for hardware/software co-design. For existing HDL-based chip designs, it is possible to automatically convert them to SystemC or even higher-level functional descriptions to improve the simulation speed and enable hardware/software co-design. However, existing tools failed to accomplish that for a complex multicore SoC, such as the OpenSPARC T1. Therefore, we investigated the problems encountered by two most popular converting tools, Verilator and V2SC, and developed our own tool, called V2X, to overcome the problems. In our case study, V2X successfully translated the 8-core OpenSPARC T1 SoC (approximately 300,000 lines of Verilog code) into SystemC and significantly reduced the simulation time by 40 times for the user. In addition, this article discusses the two-stage translation scheme which makes V2X more powerful than existing tools and the quick replay method for automatic generation of chip verification suites for the new SystemC-based simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-62
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Chinese Institute of Engineers, Transactions of the Chinese Institute of Engineers,Series A/Chung-kuo Kung Ch'eng Hsuch K'an
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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