LONDON ARC International has started sampling Version 4.0 of the VTOC software tool that the company acquired in its purchase of Tenison. Design Automation earlier this year.
The software is useful to SoC designer as it allows them to convert every element of the SoC design beyond the ARC CPU into models represented in SystemC, a high level programming language. Once in SystemC the designer can simulate, verify, and even write software programs on this SystemC representation.
VTOC 4.0 can create 100 percent cycle accurate C++ and SystemC models from Verilog and VHDL RTL. The toolset includes an intelligent code analysis system that enables developers to generate C++ and SystemC models that accelerate the development of performance critical firmware such as device drivers and codecs.
A complete software suite can be developed and debugged before the target SoC sees first silicon. ARC IP eXchange, based on VTOC technology, enables IP vendors, semiconductor, and fabless companies to deliver C++ and SystemC models to software developers, partners and customers.
The major functions of the VTOC 4.0 Toolset’s code analysis system includes: reporting errors and potential errors in the RTL, with a diagnosis to help the design engineer fix the problem; identifying RTL that can cause bottlenecks in modeling, allowing hand-coded C++/SystemC models to be substituted using industry standard interfaces; and providing run-time analysis and feedback, so models can be tuned for optimal performance for a specific application.
With minimal effort the professional engineer is able to automatically create 100 percent cycle accurate models.
VTOC was developed at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and first released in September 2002. Since then it has been used in the design of numerous SoCs now in production by companies worldwide.