Grupo de Ingeniería Microelectrónica

Microelectronics Engineering Group

Departamento de Tecnología Electrónica, Ingeniería de Sistemas y Automática Universidad de Cantabria
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HetSC doc 


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(November 8th, 2010): A-HetSC examples added!, (December 21th, 2009): Documentation section extended: Link to Sepcification of Adaptive Systems added!, (December 21th, 2009): Documentation section fixed (link to MoC interfaces documentation).

  HetSC_logo  HetSC Methodology  and  Library  

What the HetSC methodology is?

  The HetSC methodology is a set of rules and guidelines which tells the user how to build Heterogeneous specifications in SystemC. By heterogeneous specifications here it is understood those specifications able to integrate different Models of Computation (MoCs).

Where the HetSC methodology is stated?

   In the HetSC documentation, which can be freely downloaded here.

What the HetSC library is?

  The HetSC library is a methodological library which complements the SystemC™ core reference library for system-level heterogeneous specification.  The HetSC library can be freely downloaded here.

Which are the advantages of heterogeneous specification?

  There are several advantages associated with the support of heterogeneous specification. They can be summarized in:

  • Specification more natural and suited to the nature of the system described. Thus the specification is done faster.

  • Simulation speed-up, since the simulation kernel only need to dealt at a greater detail the interesting aspects of the specification.

  • Fidelity, that is, a higher protection against specification errors, which enables reaching desired system features such as determinism, deadlock protection, boundness, static scheduling, etc.

  • Improves the application of a design flow. The design flow is more feasible since SW and HW synthesis tools are more adapted to specific models of computation dependending on the application field and discipline.

And the advantages of HetSC?

   As well as the previosly enumerated advantages, it has to be taken into account that:

  • this library is supported only on top of the SystemC core library, which is compact and efficient.

  • based on a standard (IEEE 1666 LRM) language, SystemC.

  • the methodology  is being integrated in the framework of a electronic system level (ESL) design methodology. This methodology is oriented to the platform-based HW/SW co-design of embedded systems. Thus, HetSC does not restrict itself for modeling.

  • enables the refinement within the same language, SystemC. SystemC makes possible an important improve of efficiency with a non-abrupt training effort, specially for those designers already used to C or C++ modeling.

  • TLM compatibility for channels which can present TLM interfaces. By default, HetSC channels use SystemC core interfaces or, if not possible, HetSC specific interfaces. Now, it is possible for some channels to use TLM interfaces. This makes possible to integrate HetSC in flows where some kind of TLM compatibility standard is beind adopted.

Development Platforms

   The first versions of the library are for Linux. platforms. In Unix and Windows + Cygwin they should work with minor editions.


   The next things have to be installed:

  • A C++ compiler. The library is supported by the gcc compiler.The compiler is available here.

  • The SystemC reference library. The SystemC library can be downloaded here.

Find here a compatibility list.   

You do not need to install other methodological libraries based on SystemC (such us SCV, TLM, Perfidy, SC2RTOS, etc).

   For HetSC1.1 and HetSC1.0 versions, the installation of a patch for the SystemC reference library is necessary. This patch corrects some features of SystemC-2.1v1reference library, which provides a 100% support of the whole set of checks for the Synchronous Reactive Model of Computation (SR MoC). These patches also fix some bugs and provide support for other features useful in SystemC for the verification of the system through simulation. These patches can be downloaded here.

Future of the library: project.

  The GIM group is involved in ANDRES, an IST project which will serve to improve the HetSC system-level heterogeneous specification methodology and thus to mantain and enhace the HetSC library, in several aspects:

  • to provide a formal framework for the specification methodology.

  • extend the specification methodology for supporting the specification of adaptivity.

  • connection with other SystemC-based specification methodologies, like SystemC-AMS, etc...

  • to enhace the set of mechanisms and primitives for modeling software.

  • to target platforms presenting reconfigurable hardware.


   The people directly involved in the development of HetSC methodology are Eugenio Villar and Fernando Herrera.

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