ARM Announces AMBA SystemC Interface to Enable System-Level Design

03 March 2003

ARM creates new version of industry standard with co-operation of industry-leading design tool and IP providers

CAMBRIDGE, UK – Mar. 3, 2003 – ARM [(LSE:ARM); (Nasdaq:ARMHY)], the industry's leading provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC processor solutions, today announced the availability of the AMBA™ 2 Transfer-Layer SystemC interface specification. The specification is the culmination of a collaboration involving ARM, Synopsys, Inc., Cadence Design Systems, and CoWare Inc., to deliver a standard for connecting system-level design IP that is endorsed by the industry-leading design tool and intellectual property (IP) providers. The new methodology will enable designers of complex systems to use IP built according to the interface specification for the exploration of AMBA methodology-based SoC architectures. By using this methodology along with matching RTL IP for AMBA components and a System-to-RTL verification methodology, customers can reduce time-to-market for AMBA technology-based designs.

In the development of the specification, ARM has also sought feedback from partners such as Mentor Graphics, Motorola, Philips Semiconductor and Verisity to ensure broad industry endorsement, thus enabling wide adoption of the new standard.

"This new specification is another example of ARM's commitment to working with its Partners to develop and promote open standards from which the whole design community can benefit," said Jonathan Morris, systems program manager, ARM. "The SystemC interface specification adds a powerful new dimension to the AMBA methodology, and will bring significant benefits to the AMBA technology-based designer. The acceleration of design exploration and verification that SystemC brings will yield improvements in both time-to-market and quality of design.."

"System-level design teams are successfully using CoCentric® System Studio with our Transfer-Level AMBA models for architecture optimization and software verification," said Johannes Stahl, director of marketing, System Level Design, Synopsys. "Contributing our experience to the new interface specification helps ensure that best-in-class system-level modeling solutions for AMBA technology-based design become available."

"The AMBA 2 Transfer-level interface specification will help enable early transaction-level verification of complex designs and their embedded software," said Rahul Razdan, corporate vice president and general manager, Systems Verification group, Cadence. "This type of capability is critical in delivering unified verification from system design to system design-in across design chains."

"Transfer-layer modeling has shown enormous benefits to our customers, but needed a standard to enable IP to be interoperable in SystemC," said John MacDermott, director of Business Development, CoWare, Inc. "We have used our experience to produce an AMBA specification that will help designers with their IP needs, enabling them to realize the full benefits of System-Level design."

The AMBA 2 Transfer-Layer SystemC interface specification will be available for public release in mid-Q2 of this year. The interface specification will be open and free of any charges. A copy will be available from the ARM website. To protect the integrity of the AMBA technology, the specification is made available under a simple license agreement broadly in line with the widely-accepted AMBA 2.0 specification licensing agreement.

About AMBA
The AMBA specification is an established, open methodology that serves as a framework for SoC designs, effectively providing the 'digital glue' that binds IP cores together. It is the backbone of ARM's design reuse strategy and has been adopted by a large part of the industry including more than 90 percent of ARM's Partners, and a large number of non-ARM IP providers. The specification has been downloaded by more than 4,000 design engineers and implemented in hundreds of ASIC designs.

With a wide third-party IP base and extensive EDA tool support from many of the industry's leading EDA suppliers, the AMBA methodology provides a quality solution for interface-based design of high-performance systems. Since the AMBA interface is processor and technology independent, it enhances the reusability of peripheral and system macrocells across a wide range of silicon processes.

About SystemC and OSCI
The Open SystemC™ Initiative (OSCI) is an independent, not-for-profit organization composed of a broad range of companies, universities and individuals dedicated to supporting and advancing SystemC as an open source industry standard for system-level design. SystemC is the standard design and verification language built in C++ that spans from concept to implementation in hardware and software. The SystemC platform, that includes the SystemC specification source code and reference manual, can be downloaded at http://www.systemc.org.

About ARM
ARM is the industry's leading provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC microprocessor solutions. The company licenses its high-performance, low-cost, power-efficient RISC processors, peripherals, and system-on-chip designs to leading international electronics companies. ARM also provides comprehensive support required in developing a complete system. ARM's microprocessor cores are rapidly becoming a volume RISC standard in such markets as portable communications, handheld computing, multimedia, digital consumer and embedded solutions. More information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com.


ARM is a registered trademark of ARM. AMBA is a trademark of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. "ARM" is used to represent ARM Holdings plc (LSE: ARM and Nasdaq: ARMHY); its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; and ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. .


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