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Introduction to the SystemC AMS DRAFT standard

: Einwich, K.; Grimm, C.; Barnasconi, M.; Vachoux, A.


Sezer, S. ; IEEE Circuits and Systems Society:
IEEE International SOC Conference, SOCC 2009 : Belfast, Ireland, 9 - 11 September 2009
New York, NY: IEEE, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4244-5220-0
ISBN: 978-1-4244-4940-8
International "System on a Chip" (SOC) Conference <22, 2009, Belfast>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IIS, Institutsteil Entwurfsautomatisierung (EAS) ()
SystemC AMS

Embedded HW/SW systems interact more and more tightly with their analog physical environment. This leads to systems in which digital HW/SW is functionally interwoven with analog and mixed-signal blocks such as RF interfaces, power electronics, or sensors and actuators as shown for example by the communication system in Figure 1. We call such systems Embedded Analog/Mixed-Signal (E-AMS) systems. Examples of E-AMS systems are cognitive radios, sensor networks or systems for image sensing. A challenge for the development of E-AMS systems is to understand the interaction between HW/SW and the analog and mixed-signal subsystems (e.g. power drivers, sensors, RF circuits) at architecture level. This requires means for modeling and simulating the interacting analog/mixed-signal systems and HW/SW systems at functional and architecture level.
SystemC supports the refinement of HW/SW systems down to RTL by providing a discrete event (DE) simulation framework. On top of this, a methodology for generalized modeling of communication and synchronization is available. Transaction Level Modeling (TLM) allows designers to perform abstract modeling, simulation and design of HW/SW system architectures. However, the SystemC simulation kernel has not been designed for the modeling and simulation of analog, continuous-time systems and lacks the support of a refinement methodology to describe analog behavior starting at functional level down to implementation level.
SystemC AMS extensions introduce new language constructs for the design of embedded analog/mixed-signal systems. The SystemC AMS DRAFT standard was published in December 2008.
The tutorial will present the novel modeling language for analog and mixed-signal functions to facilitate design and modeling of telecommunications, automotive and imaging sensor applications at various levels of abstraction. The concepts beyond the defined language constructs will be presented. A simple design example will illustrate how these new features facilitate a design refinement methodology for functional modeling, architecture exploration and virtual prototyping of embedded analog and mixed-signal systems.