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System simulation with gem5 and SystemC: The keystone for full interoperability

: Menard, C.; Castrillon, J.; Jung, M.; Wehn, N.


Patt, Yale (Hrsg.) ; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; IEEE Circuits and Systems Society:
International Conference on Embedded Computer Systems: Architectures, Modeling, and Simulation, SAMOS XVII 2017. Proceedings : July 16-20, 2017, Samos, Greece
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5386-3437-0
ISBN: 978-1-5386-3438-7
International Conference on Embedded Computer Systems - Architectures, Modeling, and Simulation (SAMOS) <17, 2017, Samos>
Fraunhofer IESE ()

SystemC TLM based virtual prototypes have become the main tool in industry and research for concurrent hardware and software development, as well as hardware design space exploration. However, there exists a lack of accurate, free, changeable and realistic SystemC models of modern CPUs. Therefore, many researchers use the cycle accurate open source system simulator gem5, which has been developed in parallel to the SystemC standard. In this paper we present a coupling of gem5 with SystemC that offers full interoperability between both simulation frameworks, and therefore enables a huge set of possibilities for system level design space exploration. Furthermore, we show that the coupling itself only induces a relatively small overhead to the total execution time of the simulation.