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SystemC is a free library for C++ for hardware SoC modelling.
»Download from www.accelera.org
It can be used for detailed net-level modelling, but today its
main uses are :
- Architectural exploration: Making a fast and quick, high-level model of a SoC
to explore performance variation against various dimensions, such as bus width and
cache memory size.
- Transactional level (TLM) models of systems, where handshaking protocols between components
using hardware nets are replaced with subroutine calls between higher-level models of those components.
- Synthesis: RTL is synthesised from from SystemC source code using a so-called `C-to-gates' compiler.