AUTOMATIC MODELS GENERATOR
Original Publication Date: 2000-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Sep-19
Gabriel Camus: AUTHOR [+2]
The complexity of embedded controllers circuits functionality is becoming so important, that the reuse of intellectual property, the technology and the design flow must be adapted to this evolution. It is common practice today to use the same piece of hardware (and consequently the models representing this piece of hardware) in different chips, for different customers.
AUTOMATIC MODELS GENERATOR
by Gabriel Camus and Yves Mathys
The complexity of embedded controllers circuits functionality is becoming so important, that the reuse of intellectual property, the technology and the design flow must be adapted to this evolution.
It is common practice today to use the same piece of hardware (and consequently the models representing this piece of hardware) in different chips, for different customers.
As an example, the MIOS (Modular I/O Subsystem) is a modular module that performs timing functions (see Motorola MPC555 reference manual). It can be configured in multiple ways, using a various number of different types of channels according to customer requests.
The complexity of the modules is such that supplying a customer with quick documentation and models of a complex module become difficult to manage manually.
AMIOGEN is an integrated tools suite which automatically build the specification document, the RTL model and possibly other models (such as C++
Motorola, Inc. 2000
models, test patterns, etc.) automatically, in a very fast and accurate way.
The method that is discussed here consists of using a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to capture the description of a hardware configuration. A configuration consists of the position and the type of channel used to make the complete module requested by the customer, as well as the description of their inter-connectivity. Once captured, the configuration is coded in a specific language (AMIOLOG).
From this AMIOLOG description, scripts can generate automatically a complete specification document and functional models of the peripheral module.
Fignre 1 shows the flow of a design using AMIOGEN.
The front end of the AMIOGEN design flow is the Graphical User Interface (Gill). The back end consist of the intermediate format (AMIOLOG), generated by a preprocessor program (MPP), and a set of view generators (RTLgen, FMgen, etc.)
I II IIi L--I I I I
AMIOLOG Syntax Ubrary
Modules Specs Library
Modules RTL Ubrary
Test Pattern Ubrary
Circuit Test Patterns
Fig. 1 AMIOGEN Design Flow
The different libraries used are described in the relevant following subsections.
GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE
AMIOGEN is based on a graphical user interface that allow the user to capture the configuration of the hardware to build. This GUI allows to load existing configurations as well as to define a new configuration: it has a save and load capability. An example of the GUI is given in Figure 1
TEXT SUBSTITUTIONS - METHOD
The file saved or loaded by AMIOGEN is an ASCII file that contains all the required information to completely describe the configuration of the final chip (or module). The Gill uses this ASCII file and starts a set of processes to generate a file in a...