UC Irvine's Center For Embedded Computer Systems completes Reference Compiler for SpecC Design Language

Reference Compiler Allows SpecC to Be Available in the Public Domain to Establish Industry Standard

Irvine, Calif., June 4, 2001 — UC Irvine's Center for Embedded Computer Systems (CECS) has developed an open source reference compiler for SpecC, an overarching system-level design language that supports the specification and exploration of product development.

With the release of the compiler, SpecC—currently used by some of the world's largest electronics manufacturing companies—will be available in the public domain for the design and production of embedded systems and other electronic systems using product-on-demand technology.

The open-source SpecC Reference Compiler, Simulator and Test Bench is available on the CECS Web site (http://www.cecs.uci.edu/~specc/reference). Presently, it runs under Linux and Solaris and eventually will be ported to Windows NT.

SpecC was developed in 1997 by a research team led by Daniel D. Gajski, UCI professor of information and computer science and director of Center for Embedded Computer Systems (CECS). The work was supported by the SpecC Technology Open Consortium, which was formed to standardize SpecC language and technology.

"The release of the SpecC Reference Compiler is the first significant milestone towards acceptance of SpecC as the world standard specification language for system design. The SpecC language is most appealing to both, hardware designers and software programmers for embedded systems since it is a simple extension of the world-standard programming language C supported by a well-defined design methodology," said Masahiro Fujita, professor at Tokyo University and chairman of the SpecC Language Standardization Committee.

The open source SpecC reference compiler and simulator will give electronics manufacturing companies quick access to the language and provide a means to evaluate and adapt it in their own engineering infrastructures.

The SpecC language is designed to support smooth overall design flow of product development starting from C-style code. SpecC defines a formal, executable specification that can be simulated early in product development. With the SpecC language, system definition can be streamlined by removing miscues, misinterpretations and miscommunications among different design partitions. The SpecC design methodology supports seamless, synthesis and verification from specification to RTL offering high productivity gain.

"It has been demonstrated within Motorola that SpecC methodology has the potential to dramatically improve productivity while increasing product quality," said Mike Olivarez, systems architect of Motorola Inc.'s Semiconductor Products Sector, which performed early experiments with the SpecC language.

The SpecC Technology Open Consortium consists of leading hi-tech companies and design houses, such as Cadence Design Systems; C-Level Design, Inc.; Co-Design Automation, Inc.; Conexant Systems, Inc.; Fujitsu; Gaio Technology Co.; Hitachi Ltd.; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.; Mitsubishi Corp.; Mentor Graphics; Motorola, Inc.; NEC Corp.; OKI Information Systems; Seiko Epson Corp.; Sharp; Sony Electronics; Toshiba; Toyota Motor Corp.; Yamaha Motor Co. and others. The consortium also has authorized CECS to maintain and support the implementation and future upgrades.

The Center for Embedded Computer Systems (http://www.cecs.uci.edu) is an organized research unit at UCI focusing on embedded systems research and technology for wireless communications, medical and automotive applications and for product-on-demand technology.

The SpecC Technology Open Consortium (http://www.SpecC.org) was established in 1999 by 24 companies and organizations worldwide for promoting and securing wide acceptance of the SpecC language-based methodology that enhances the product development process and overcomes constraints on time-to-market and cost.


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