ESL is emerging as viable&#151indeed necessary&#151part of the SoC design process. The viability is being driven by the emergence and adoption of industry-wide standards. Key to enabling ESL design today is full design-chain support, with IP providers providing models of IP at the critical levels of abstraction. Only IP vendors can certify the correctness of models as validation suites are a part of the ‘crown jewel’ of the IP vendor, so supply of models to standard interfaces is absolutely critical. With the industry wide adoption of standards for ESL design&#151the SystemC language, the RealView ESL APIs and the flow from ESL to implementation using the SPIRIT Consortium Specifications&#151we are finally able to bring the ‘ideal’ elements of ESL design into the realm of the practical.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 5, No. 2, 2006