Tutorial: Cut Your Design Time in Half with Higher Abstraction

SystemCPresented at DVCon U.S. 2016 on February 29, 2016

In the quarter century that RTL has been our main digital design abstraction, the silicon devices that we build have grown 4 orders of magnitude in gate count. Our projects are managing millions of lines of code eating into our design and verification efficiency. Such dizzying growth makes the design engineer wonder — is it time to move up abstraction again?

We in the Accellera SystemC Synthesis Working Group (SSWG) think the answer is YES. The most recent draft of a synthesizable subset standard for SystemC has been available for public review and we’d like to introduce it to you. This tutorial is focused on the engineer today who is coding in Verilog/SystemVerilog or VHDL. We explain how to use the language subset to write synthesizable models at a higher level of abstraction than RTL. We provide real code examples comparing algorithms written at RTL and those written using the synthesizable subset, explaining the reasons behind the coding choices and the downstream implications for RTL and gates. We also discuss how a synthesis standard is the foundation for a full design and verification ecosystem at a higher level of abstraction and the value that can bring to the designer.

We conclude with some potential directions for the synthesis subset that will further enable the HLS ecosystem and a Q/A panel session with our presenters.

The tutorial is split into six sections:

  • Part 1: How High-level Synthesis Works: An Intro for Hardware Designers
    Frederic Doucet, Qualcomm

  • Part 2: The Proposed Accellera SystemC Synthesizable Subset
    Mike Meredith, Cadence

  • Part 3: High-Level Synthesis and Verification
    Peter Frey, Mentor Graphics 

  • Part 4: HLS in the Wild — Intel's Experience
    Bob Condon, Intel

  • Part 5: HLS for the FPGA/Programmable Market
    HLS for the FPGA/Programmable Market

  • Part 6: SystemC Synthesis Standard: Which Topics for Next Round?
    Frederic Doucet, Qualcomm

View slides >



Thanks to our Sponsors

CadenceMentor, a Siemens BusinessSynopsys