DAC DAY TWO: A high level view of ESL

By Paul Dempsey |  No Comments  |  Posted: June 7, 2011
Topics/Categories: Blog - EDA, - ESL/SystemC, General  |  Tags:

One of the great conundrums in EDA is the rate of adoption of ESL technologies. Everybody knows why more abstraction is needed. It reflects the needs for simultaneous hardware/software co-design, faster time-to-market, a greater mastery of complexity and speedier verification. To name but four.

But while it is happening, the process is arguably proving much slower than many anticipated.

At the ESL Symposium here at DAC on Tuesday (June 7), a panel featuring ARM, Freescale, Intel, Mentor Graphics, and STMicroelectronics addressed the challenge from a management rather than, as is often the case, a technological perspective.

We’ll be reviewing that debate in more detail on the site very soon, but two key issues emerged, driven largely out of the ever increasing role software plays in system design: speed and cost.

Software developers just see ESL as too slow for their taste at the moment. But it was John Goodenough, ARM’s vice president for design technology and automation, who got in an early bid for DAC’s best ‘takeaway’/’sound bite’ when addressing the cost block.

“You’re deploying this into an area where people are used to ‘free’,” he said.

The reality is likely to be along lines envisaged by Simon Bloch, who heads up Mentor’s ESL activities. “You’re looking for a mid-range between the software guys who are used to paying little and the hardware guys who are used to paying more.”

More on this in the next few days.

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