Technical Reports

Kevin Marquet and Matthieu Moy and Bageshri Karkare
A theoretical and Experimental Review of SystemC Front-ends (2010)


Keywords: SystemC, front-end, survey, C++

Abstract: SystemC is a widely used tool for prototyping Systems-on-a-Chip. Being implemented as a C++ library, a plain C++ compiler is sufficient to compile and simulate a SystemC program. However, a SystemC program needs to be processed by a dedicated tool in order to visualize, formally verify, debug and/or optimize the architecture. In this paper we focus on the tools (called front-ends) used in the initial stages of processing SystemC programs. We describe the challenges in developing SystemC front-ends and present a survey of existing solutions. The limitations and capabilities of these tools are compared for various features of SystemC and intended back-end applications. We present typical examples that front-ends should ideally be able to process, and give theoretical limitations as well as experimental results of existing tools.

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