A fundamental change is taking place in the world of logic design. A new generation of design tools is empowering software developers to take their algorithmic expressions straight into hardware without having to learn traditional hardware design techniques.

These tools and associated design methodologies are classified collectively as electronic system level (ESL) design, broadly referring to system design and verification methodologies that begin at a higher level of abstraction than the current mainstream register transfer level (RTL). ESL design languages are closer in syntax and semantics to the popular ANSI C than to hardware languages like Verilog and VHDL.