MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.A production-tested version 1.0 of the SystemC modeling platform has been completed, and will be ready for downloading April 3 at www.SystemC.org. A beta version 1.1 of SystemC will be available later in April.
SystemC is a C++ class library and simulation environment proposed as an industry standard by the Open SystemC Initiative. Led by Synopsys and CoWare, the initiative claims that SystemC 1.0 is the result of feedback and review from over 2,200 users in 500 different institutions.
SystemC, however, potentially competes with other proposals such as CynLib and SpecC, and Synopsys' major EDA competitors have so far balked at licensing SystemC. Recent moves may draw SystemC and SpecC more closely together.
A major addition to SystemC version 1.0 is support for fixed-point data types. One of the major challenges for C language design has been the refinement of algorithmic descriptions into these data types. The enhancement was a joint contribution from Synopsys and Frontier Design.
SystemC version 1.0 also includes all the enhancements made for version 0.91, including support for modules, ports, new data types, more extensive runtime error reporting, and a simplified syntax.
The data types in SystemC version 1.0 are compliant with the upcoming Virtual Socket Interface Alliance (VSIA) system level design data-type specification. This standard is expected in the third quarter of 2000.
The beta 1.1 version adds two components that extend SystemC further into true system-level design. These include a method to describe abstract communication protocols, and a computational model to simulate the high-level behavior and communication mechanism known as remote procedure call (RPC). The contributions came from CoWare.
SystemC is available under an open community licensing model without charge. A commercial license was recently created, and some field of use restrictions removed, but the licensing still takes place through Synopsys. The modeling platform includes the SystemC specification, source code, and reference manual.