SystemC already provides a variety of datatypes, including arbitrary-bit-width datatypes for integers and fixed-point values, but these simulate very slowly. Also, there are separate datatypes for signed and unsigned versions of these values, which makes it awkward to create a parameterized model that can switch between them.
In order to address this issue, Andres Takach (Mentor's chief scientist for C-based design) has spend the last few years creating (and rigorously testing) a suite of new high-speed datatypes based on ANSI C++. These arbitrary-bit-width datatypes enable algorithm, system, and hardware designers to precisely model bit-true behavior in C++ specifications while accelerating simulation speeds by 10-200x.
Of particular interest to those wishing to create a parameterized model that be used to easily switch between signed and unsigned values is the fact that each of these new datatypes can represent either type (a Boolean parameter/argument is used to select between them).
Mentor is making the new C++ datatypes immediately available to the electronics designers and electronic design automation (EDA) tool vendors free of charge via a special AC Datatype webpage.
Mentor will also offer a suite seminar on the new AC Datatypes at the 43rd Design Automation Conference in San Francisco, July 24-27. To register, please go to www.mentor.com.