By John Sanguinetti, CTO of Forte Design Systems Inc.
edadesignline.com (February 22, 2010)
The preferred high-level design methodology proceeds from high-level code to RTL code. Good verification practice requires that the input to High-level Synthesis (HLS) be verified first, via simulation (or some other analytical means), and then the output of HLS be verified, again via simulation or some other means. Using SystemC as the input language to HLS enables this flow, but using C as the HLS input language imposes a serious limitation on doing verification this way.
High-level design has many advantages over the more commonplace design flow which begins with RTL code. Among the most compelling advantages is the improved verification efficiency which a higher level of abstraction offers. It is apparent to the point of being self-evident that when the source code of a design is created, there will be fewer errors if the source is at a higher abstraction level than if it is at a lower level. However, there is still a process required to verify the transformations which are applied to the design description as it proceeds through the design flow from creation to final realization.
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