December 04, 2006
ESL 2.0 = EDA 4.0 … Continued
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Peggy Aycinena - Contributing Editor

by Peggy Aycinena - Contributing Editor
Posted anew every four weeks or so, the EDA WEEKLY delivers to its readers information concerning the latest happenings in the EDA industry, covering vendors, products, finances and new developments. Frequently, feature articles on selected public or private EDA companies are presented. Brought to you by If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!


If you don't have something new to learn, you've stopped living.

- Mitch Dale

It takes courage and vision to move into the next technology.

- A.K. Kalekos

The adoption of ESL is inevitable, just as RTL was, but the important thing to remember here is that the older abstractions don't go away.

- Shawn McCloud

In the last 10 years, we've gone from 120,000 lines of code to 10 million lines of code. It's mind boggling to think how much software there is now.

- Shay Ben-Chorin

ESL should be thought of, not just as an abstraction, but as something with a system-wide scope.

- Steve Glaser

I have yet to hear about any organization that is doing all of their design at the ESL level. When I do, you all will be the first to know. If you hear about it before I do, can you give me a call?

- Larry Melling

ESL is turning from a nice, theoretical principle into some practical, mandatory flows that all companies are adopting. It's definitely not the last time you'll be writing an article about ESL.

- Frank Ghenassi


Welcome back to this lengthy discussion of ESL. If you missed the first installment of this conversation,

Part 1 - Fact or Fiction

* An Epic Story: ESL 2.0 = EDA 4.0

* Cliff Cummings

* Bob Brodersen

* Rudy Lauwereins

* John Derringer

* Gary Smith

Part 2 - Truths be Told

* Definitions & Dialog

* Mentor acquires Summit

* ESL agitation more on the hardware or the software side?

* ESL defined

* How long has the industry been debating ESL?

This week's installment is a continuation of Part 2 and is quite complex. It includes an update from OSCI, comments on ESL versus RTL, SystemC versus UML, SystemC versus SystemVerilog, simulation speeds at various levels of abstraction, the ESL-to-implementation flow and ESL synthesis, ESL and FPGAs, the current viability of the ESL market, global implications of the move to ESL, and various viewpoints about the roadmap going forward.

In other words, you're going to need a strong cup of coffee to get through it all. Hopefully, by the time you're done, you'll see some of the justification for concluding that ESL 2.0 = EDA 4.0

First, however, please re-visit the
ESL Tools Table. Additional entries from Cadence and Esterel Technologies have been added.

We start with the list of contributors to this dialog:


The Contributors

A.K. Kalekos, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at

Brett Cline, Vice President of Marketing at
Forte Design Systems

Emil Girczyc, President and CEO at
Summit Design

Eric Bantegnie, President and CEO,
Esterel Technologies

Frank Ghenassi, at
STMicro, Chair of the TLM Working Group within

George Zafiropoulos, Vice President of Marketing for Verification Group at

Guri Stark, Vice President of Strategic Marketing at

Hamid Agah, Senior Technical Marketing Manager at

Jeff Jussel, Vice President Marketing and Americas General Manager at

Jeff Roane, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at

Ken Karnofsky, Marketing Director for Signal Processing/Comm at
The MathWorks

Larry Melling, Vice President of Marketing at

Mitch Dale, Director of Product Marketing at

Shawn McCloud, High-level Synthesis Product Line Director at
Mentor Graphics

Shay Ben-Chorin, Director of Business Development for System-Level Solutions at

Shiv Tasker, CEO at

Simon Davidmann, President and CEO at

Simon Napper, President and CEO at

Stan Krolikoski, CEO at
ChipVision, Treasurer of

Steve Glaser, Corporate Vice President of the Verification Division Marketing at

Steve Pollock, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at

Vincent Perrier, Co-founder and Director at


Part 2 - Truths be Told - Continued


* News from OSCI

December 4, 2006 - The Open SystemC Initiative (OSCI), an independent non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing SystemC as an industry standard language for electronic system-level (ESL) design, today announced the delivery of the Draft SystemC Transaction-Level Modeling (TLM) 2.0 kit, containing proposed extensions to OSCI TLM API standards, an open-source library implementation, and interoperable modeling examples for world-wide public review by the SystemC community. Designed for use with the SystemC IEEE Std. 1666-2005 language and OSCI's standard TLM 1.0 transport API, the TLM 2.0 proposal extends the foundation upon which interoperable
transaction-level communication can be built.

TLM 2.0 will broaden the standard by defining the content of transactions and how they are moved and controlled within the system. This includes new data structures and APIs for untimed programmer's view (PV) models of bus and network-on-chip based systems that can be used to enable concurrent development of embedded software and the hardware platform that work together to implement system-on-chip functionality. It also includes data structures and APIs for programmer's view with timing (PVT) models appropriate for architecture design and system performance analysis.

Design at the transaction-level enables users to efficiently develop SOC virtual prototypes to assist in architecture analysis and enable early software development, before any prototype can be completed. Transaction-level models can be used as golden reference models and directly embedded into functional verification environments, maximizing return on investment made in high-level modeling. In addition, transaction-level modeling enables the simulation performance required to meaningfully validate system functionality and co-simulate hardware and software. High simulation speed also allows the validation of IP in the context of the system. SystemC's ability to effectively span
abstraction levels from algorithm to TLM to RTL makes it the ideal framework for high-level modeling and design as well as system validation.


* Questions & Answers

No. 1 - Define ESL.

Please scroll to the bottom of this article for a re-posting of the list of definitions provided by the contributors in the
first installment. We add to that list, the following:

Eric Bantegnie - The definition I like most comes from
Linda Prowse Fowler of Linda Prowse Fowler and Associates. She defines ESL broadly as, “The design and verification abstraction level above RTL,” and ESL synthesis as, “The ability to auto-generate the hardware, firmware, verification models, documentation, and debugger configuration files necessary to package IP and integrate platform SOCs while managing data and deliverables for the hardware and software teams as the design, requirements, and specifications evolve.”

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15   href='/nbc/articles/view_weekly.php?articleid=330353&page_no=2'>Next Page »

You can find the full EDACafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Peggy Aycinena, Contributing Editor.

Review Article
  • New menu ESL December 05, 2006
    Reviewed by 'Hemanth'
    Peggy, nice expository article. Electronic System Level or Extended System Level or whatever it is atleast one thing is certain, that there is a necessity for it and people are trying out. So going by the discussion above it looks like a range of concepts can co-exist under the umbrella of ESL but the common theme being that it will assist us in doing the job better and more efficiently. I work for a large technology company and infact recently worked on a project where systemC is being newly adopted as the environemnt for initial architectural validation and subsequest functional verification. Building the new infrastructure suitable for systemc, I think, took a lot of effort and was time consuming but the idea is that the payoff is going to happen with better verification and the expected extensive re-use for next product lines. I cant really say if we realized any reduction in the whole process cycle as it was done from scratch but that may very well be so in the future.

      Was this review helpful to you?   (Report this review as inappropriate)

  • Good info, but needs condensing December 05, 2006
    Reviewed by 'John B.'
    I found some good points in these interviews, but 29 pages long? It's too much unless you're in EDA Marketing and want to see all these details. I'd prefer an excerpted interview and a distilled summary article. At least I see that you prefaced it with saying it's a "lengthy article"!
    This comment applies to many of the articles on this web site -- they are too many pages long and need tighter editing.

      2 of 3 found this review helpful.
      Was this review helpful to you?   (Report this review as inappropriate)

For more discussions, follow this link …

Featured Video
Senior Electrical Engineer for Allen & Shariff Corporation at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Upcoming Events
Methodics User Group Meeting at Maxim Integrated 160 Rio Robles San Jose CA - Jun 5 - 6, 2018
2018 FLEX Korea at Room 402/ 403, COEX Seoul Korea (South) - Jun 20 - 21, 2018
IEEE 5G World FOrum at 5101 Great America Parkway Santa Clara CA - Jul 9 - 11, 2018
SEMICON West 2018 at Moscone Center North, Room 24-25, 730 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA San Francisco CA - Jul 11 - 12, 2018

Internet Business Systems © 2018 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
25 North 14th Steet, Suite 710, San Jose, CA 95112
+1 (408) 882-6554 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy PolicyAdvertise