SANTA CRUZ, Calif. Providing an alternative to proprietary assertion languages, the Accellera standards organization has approved the Property Specification Language (PSL) version 1.1 as an Accellera standard, and has begun the process of IEEE standardization. The move should pave the way for greater adoption of PSL.
PSL, originally based on IBM's Sugar language, has been under development by Accellera for the past few years. Recently the organization has focused on aligning syntax and semantics between PSL and SystemVerilog assertions where possible.
According to Dennis Brophy, Accellera chairman, this task is essentially complete with PSL 1.1. The two languages "are as consistent as the industry needs them to be," he said. "There's no possibility of coming up with 100 percent of the same syntax, but the semantics have been aligned. If you express something in PSL it will mean the same thing in SystemVerilog."
There's other "really important work" with the 1.1 version of PSL, Brophy said. While previous versions offered both strong and weak semantics, the new version adds what Accellera calls "neutral" semantics, which basically means that a simulation tool won't generate an error if a property is partially satisfied. With strong semantics, such a condition would generate an error.
Accellera has assigned rights to PSL to the IEEE, and will pursue standardization through the IEEE's Corporate Advisory Group (CAG). Brophy said Accellera expects that the IEEE Design Automation Standards Committee (DASC), which has traditionally been in charge of EDA standards efforts, will also be involved.
While various vendors have announced plans to support PSL, Brophy noted that there are four different levels to the language. He said the Boolean, temporal, and verification levels have received support "in varying degrees," but the highest level, the modeling level, is generally not commercially available.
Further information about PSL, and a copy of the PSL 1.1 language reference manual, are available at the Accellera web site.