Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Representing Time and Space in an Object Oriented Hardware Description Language
Mario R. Barbacci, Gary Lindstrom oot University of Utah , Michael P. Maloney oot Intel Corporation , Elliott I. Organick University of Utah
Hardware description languages HDLs will clearly play a vital role in the comprehensive VLSI design tools of the future. Now that the requirements for such HDLs are becoming better understood, it is becoming increasingly evident that the central issues are abstraction, modularity, and complexity management --- the same issues faced by designers of large scale software systems, rather than low-level technological details although these must ultimately be served as well .
Consequently, we argue that Ada, constituting the most advanced, carefully conceived, and soon to be widely available modern high-order programming language, forms not only an adequate but a compelling choice as an HDL. Specifically, Ada offers separate compilation as well as nesting of packages, tasks, and subprograms. These, and other important features of Ada, allow the construction of modular systems communicating through well defined interfaces.
This paper demonstrates how placement and routing information can be incorporated into Ada hardware descriptions: another paper, Barbacci et al., 1985 "Ada as a Hardware Description Language: An Initial Report", submitted to the IFIP 7th International Symposium on Computer Hardware Description Languages and their Applications, Tokyo, August 1985. shows how component and signal propagation delays over carriers are also incorporated into the same hardware descriptions.