More than a decade ago, the Open SystemC Initiative (OSCI) introduced the SystemC language, prompting the development of the SystemC TLM-2.0 standard that describes how IP models can easily interface with each other. Since then, the industry has seen tremendous growth in the amount of IP reuse to control the cost of system-on-chip (SoC) development. At the same time, the amount of software that development teams have to deliver to their customers along with the silicon is also growing. With half of the SoC development effort and cost now being spent on software development, there is a greater need than ever to begin software development early, alongside hardware development.
Building on the OSCI vision, TLMCentral was launched in September 2011 as the first industry-driven web portal for transaction-level model access. The portal is aimed at helping designers address the challenges of integrating software and hardware by providing an online resource that gives access to free and commercial transaction-level (TL) models, industry news, blogs and forums. Within the first few months of its roll-out, TLMCentral offered more than 600 system-level models. A year later, it has grown to include more than 1000 listed models with companies like TI and Ricoh representing a few of the users of the models, from the portal.
The centralized community enables model developers and users to support the ecosystem of software developers, hardware designers, system architects, IP developers and model suppliers by sharing their expertise and collective knowledge with one another. Through the TLMCentral portal, developers list TL models in a directory, along with specific details that can help the larger community determine if a model is applicable to their project. Prior to TLMCentral, it was difficult for model developers to easily find relevant information about available models. This often led to users either giving up on the use of virtual prototyping in their designs or investing more time to build and test the models.
TLMCentral’s primary objective is to list transaction level models across the industry to help speed up virtual prototype development and thereby enabling software developers to reduce modeling overhead. Well-written models simulate faster and get the best out of the analysis and debug capabilities within virtual prototyping tools. With TLMCentral, companies deploying virtual prototyping have a single access point for all critical information around system-level modeling. Model providers such as IP companies, service providers and universities benefit by having a central repository to promote their IP and make their TL models available.
“Availability and easy access to transaction level models of IP is a key enabler to developing virtual prototypes of SoCs,“ said Joachim Kunkel, senior vice president and general manager of Synopsys' Solutions Group. ”The growing number of models listed on TLMCentral reflects the industry's continued adoption of virtual prototyping as a tool for transaction level design and analysis, and early software development.”
In an effort to address the growing needs of the industry, TLMCentral will expand access to enable the search of models and IP in one place by partnering with Design and Reuse, a worldwide business-to-business portal in the IP/SoC field. Designers working on projects that require IP can now also look for TL models that match the IP on Design and Reuse and be directed to TLMCentral for additional model information and suppliers.
To learn more about TLMCentral, please visit the following: