| Santa Cruz, Calif. Design teams are showing interest in SystemC, but getting started with the new language can be tough. Startup Actis Design LLC says it can help with a static C++ code analyzer for SystemC that can run before compilation. |
Actis (Portland, Ore.), a spin-off of training-services firm Willamette Design, launched its AccurateC analyzer in 2003 as a postcompilation tool. Since then,several Japanese customers have helped refine the tool. "We've been targeting a couple of early adopters who are helping us wring out the functionality," said Joan Bartlett, Actis' president. "We're now coming out with a major shift in how the product is used."
AccurateC includes a rule checker that does linting, netlisting and source code analysis. There's also a rule generator that allows customers to create their own rules using an application programming interface. The rule checker has about 200 SystemC-specific rules and around 1,000 C++ syntax rules.
There's a need for such a tool, Bartlett said, "because C++ is so incredibly complicated. You need something to filter it down. SystemC helps, but you have hardware designers trying to use a very complicated language. You go ahead and run a C++ compiler on that code, and it's very difficult to analyze what's wrong."
With the AccurateC release 2.4, Bartlett said, users can run the analyzer before compiling their SystemC code and can analyze individual modules as well as a complete design. That helps users get through the compilation process more quickly, she said.
To make this change possible, she said, Actis altered the way its internal parsing works and improved its error handling. "In our internal checking technology, we don't stop at the first error or two, as a compiler may do," Bartlett said. "We collect all the errors we can find and keep going."
When errors are found, she noted, AccurateC points to specific lines in the user's source code that induce them. Compilers, in contrast, may point only to library or system files.
The new version also supports SystemC version 2.1 and its transaction-level-modeling coding style. A rule set for Forte Design's Cynthesizer synthesis product is included.
With the new features, Bartlett said, Actis is ready to go beyond a handful of early customers into a much broader market. The company is just starting to sell into the North American marketplace, she said.
AccurateC release2.4 is available now starting at $7,500 for a one-year license.