Open SystemC Initiative Advances IP Interoperability and Reuse with New Draft Standard for Transaction-Level Modeling

SAN JOSE, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—December 4, 2007— The Open SystemC Initiative (OSCI), an independent non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing SystemC(TM) as an industry standard language for electronic system-level (ESL) design, today announced the milestone release of the new transaction-level modeling standard, TLM-2 draft 2. This standard enables model interoperability and reuse at the transaction level, providing an essential framework for ESL design. The public review period is now open to the worldwide SystemC community and ends on January 31, 2008. SystemC users, ESL tool developers and intellectual property (IP) providers are encouraged to participate and provide feedback. The TLM-2 draft 2 kit is made available under open source license and includes a requirements specification, documentation, library and examples. To download, visit

"This is a major step forward that has been accomplished through many months of diligent work by ESL, EDA, IP, Semiconductor, and SystemC service providers," said Michael Meredith, president and acting chairman of OSCI. "Bringing such a diverse group together -- and having them all pull on the same end of the rope to develop an interoperability standard where they can agree that the standard meets the needs of all their constituencies -- is a rare accomplishment in our industry, or in any industry."

"The TLM working group (WG) is very enthusiastic about TLM-2 draft 2. The draft squarely addresses feedback received during the initial public review. This has led to improvements in the technology and the collateral needed to understand and apply it," said OSCI TLM WG Chair, Trevor Wieman. "The scope has been expanded for this draft to satisfy key performance requirements and to fully support approximately-timed modeling, which was originally slated for a later release. We look forward to this final round of review and refinement leading to approval of the OSCI standard early in 2008.

Design at the transaction level enables users to efficiently develop system-on-chip (SoC) virtual prototypes to assist in architecture analysis and enable early software development, before availability of structural-level models. Transaction-level models can be reused in functional verification environments as a golden reference for validation of intellectual property in the context of the system. The OSCI TLM-2 standard not only makes the development of interoperable ESL tools possible, but it also provides the essential framework needed for model exchange within companies and across the IP supply chain.

"System-level design is becoming an increasingly vital technology across the electronics industry," said Ken Tallo, director of ESL Programs in Intel's SoC Enabling Group. "Hence, model interoperability is a fundamental necessity. The TLM-2 draft 2 kit represents a big step towards delivering a viable interoperability standard by improving and expanding TLM in a cohesive and comprehensive manner. We're looking forward to feedback from the user community, as this is a very important step in the standardization process."

TLM-2 Draft 2 Requirements

Designed for use with IEEE Std. 1666(TM)-2005, "Standard SystemC Language Reference Manual" and OSCI's standard TLM-1 transport API, TLM-2 incorporates feedback from the first draft with focus on the modeling of systems based on memory-mapped busses and on-chip communication networks. Models have been categorized according to a range of criteria, including granularity of time, frequency of model evaluation, functional abstraction, communication abstraction and use cases. TLM-2 takes the approach of distinguishing between interfaces (APIs) and untimed, loosely-timed and approximately-timed coding styles. Each coding style can support a range of abstraction across functionality, timing and communication.

Overview of Features

TLM-2 consists of a set of core interfaces, analysis ports, initiator and target sockets and the generic payload. The core interfaces include the TLM-1 APIs together with blocking and non-blocking transport interfaces, the direct memory interface (DMI), the debug transaction interface and the analysis interface. The generic payload defines the data structure needed for abstract modeling of memory-mapped systems, together with an extension mechanism for developing specific communication protocols while maximizing interoperability. Using the core TLM-2 interfaces, sockets and generic payload in concert is recommended for maximum interoperability.

Public Review Timeline

SystemC users, ESL tool developers and IP providers are encouraged to participate in the public review of TLM-2 draft 2 through January 31, 2008. At that time, the OSCI TLM working group will consolidate feedback and incorporate refinements. OSCI will present the results of the public review and feedback at a TLM tutorial during the Design and Verification Conference (DVCon) on February 19, 2008 in San Jose, California. Approval of an official OSCI standard is planned for the first half of 2008.

About SystemC and OSCI

The Open SystemC(TM) Initiative (OSCI) is an independent, not-for-profit association composed of a broad range of organizations dedicated to supporting and advancing SystemC as an open industry standard for system-level modeling, design and verification. SystemC is a language built in C++ that spans from concept to implementation in hardware and software. For further information about SystemC and OSCI visit

Supporting Quotes from OSCI Members

Cadence Design Systems, Inc.

"Cadence is very pleased that the OSCI TLM-2 draft 2 kit has been made available for public review. We believe that this standard will be key in enabling the ESL ecosystem to expand. The TLM-2 draft 2 kit was developed with strong participation from major EDA, IP, and systems companies and addresses key interoperability concerns of ESL models and IP. Once ratified by OSCI, Cadence plans to support TLM-2 in its Incisive SystemC simulator and other SystemC-related products."

Stuart Swan

Senior Architect, Cadence

CoWare, Inc.

"As a founding member of OSCI and the leading global supplier of ESL design software and services, CoWare is pleased that this important standard is now available for public review. SystemC transaction-level model interoperability and reuse are extremely important to our customers and ecosystem partners as an enabler to wider deployment and production use. CoWare is excited to bring our deep experience in the modeling of virtual platforms for architecture design and software development to the draft standard, and look forward to supporting TLM-2 in our solutions."

Patrick Sheridan

Director of Marketing, CoWare

Doulos Ltd.

"TLM2 is great news for the SystemC community as it will ensure true IP interoperability in the transaction-level domain. It is truly a collaborative initiative across the industry and we are proud to be part of the team effort bringing it to fruition. We look forward to training the global SystemC user base in the strong benefits of TLM2 through 2008 and beyond."

Rob Hurley

CEO, Doulos


"ESLX has been an active member of the OSCI TLM Working Group since 2005 and we are thrilled to see the collaborative effort extended by the SystemC community to create this very important technology. Momentum from our customers has been building around a TLM standard for IP reuse and interoperability for quite some time and we have seen a significant upsurge in requests for TLM training, methodology consulting, and design services. We look forward to assisting our customers with company-wide adoption. "

Jack Donovan


Forte Design Systems, Inc.

"The ability of so many companies of different types to rally around this standard shows the strength of SystemC and of the SystemC ESL community. Forte is integrating TLM-2 into our existing TLM synthesis capability to enhance our single-source-code flow for high-speed TLM simulation and high-level SystemC synthesis for implementation."

Brett Cline

Vice President of Marketing, Forte

GreenSocs Ltd.

"Transaction-level modeling, and the powerful interoperability and reuse opportunities that it offers, marks a new and exciting chapter in ESL development. At GreenSocs, our mission is to provide a collaborative framework for the development of interfaces and infrastructure at the electronic system-level. We are thrilled that the new TLM Standard is closely aligned with GreenBus, our technology for providing vendor independent models of bus interconnect. We have seen momentum building among our large industrial and research community of users, and given the unprecedented interest of the overall SystemC community, we anticipate rapid worldwide adoption of this eagerly anticipated standard."

Mark Burton

Managing Director, GreenSocs

Intel Corporation

"System-level design is becoming an increasingly vital technology across the electronics industry. Hence model interoperability is a fundamental necessity. The TLM-2 draft 2 kit represents a big step towards delivering a viable interoperability standard by improving and expanding TLM in a cohesive and comprehensive manner. We're looking forward to feedback from the user community, as this is a very important step in the standardization process."

Ken Tallo

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