An HLA-Based Formal Co-Simulation Approach for Rapid Prototyping of Heterogeneous Mixed-Signal SoCs

Moon Gi SEOK  Tag Gon KIM  Daejin PARK  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E100-A   No.7   pp.1374-1383
Publication Date: 2017/07/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Design Methodologies for System on a Chip)
system-level verification,  system-on-chip design,  mixed-signal design,  simulator interoperation,  HLA/RTI,  

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The rapid prototyping of a mixed-signal system-on-chip (SoC) has been enabled by reusing predesigned intellectual properties (IPs) and by integrating newly designed IP into the top design of SoC. The IPs have been designed on various hardware description levels, which leads to challenges in simulations that evaluate the prototyping. One traditional solution is to convert these heterogeneous IP models into equivalent models, that are described in a single description language. This conversion approach often requires manual rewriting of existing IPs, and this results in description loss during the model projection due to the absence of automatic conversion tools. The other solutions are co-simulation/emulation approaches that are based on the coupling of multiple simulators/emulators through connection modules. The conventional methods do not have formal theoretical backgrounds and an explicit interface for integrating the simulator into their solutions. In this paper, we propose a general co-simulation approach based on the high-level architecture (HLA) and a newly-defined programming language interface for interoperation (PLI-I) between heterogeneous IPs as a formal simulator interface. Based on the proposed PLI-I and HLA, we introduce formal procedures of integration and interoperation. To reduce integration costs, we split these procedures into two parts: a reusable common library and an additional model-dependent signal-to-event (SE) converter to handle differently abstracted in/out signals between the coupled IPs. During the interoperation, to resolve the different time-advance mechanisms and increase computation concurrency between digital and analog simulators, the proposed co-simulation approach performs an advanced HLA-based synchronization using the pre-simulation concepts. The case study shows the validation of interoperation behaviors between the heterogeneous IPs in mixed-signal SoC design, the reduced design effort in integrating, and the synchronization speedup using the proposed approach.