Models, Models, Models…

There is no justifiable reason not to support standard languages and interface specs.

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By Jon McDonald
It’s all about the models. Sometimes I get the feeling that progress is blazing along. Everyone I talk to is interested in ESL design. The value of the capabilities and possibility of dramatic impact on the design process is monumental. It’s kind of like having an amazing sports car that will blow everything off the track but you are stuck on an island with no track and no way off. You need a bridge to get you somewhere interesting.

In today’s ESL world there are many powerful tools offering powerful capabilities, but those capabilities can only be used and compared to other options if they can be run on the same track. In my thinking the models become the track—not just the track, but the roads, the bridges and the infrastructure to allow commerce.

Having standards like TLM 2.0 for model interoperability has given us a tremendous path to realize the benefits of an ESL design methodology quickly. I’ve started to see users demanding models from their IP vendors. In some cases decisions about which IP to use have been significantly influenced by the availability of transaction level models suitable for early ESL design and analysis. This is the trend that I believe will ultimately transport us to a state in which models are ubiquitous.

As users depend on models of the IP to perform early tradeoffs, it will become impossible to successfully deliver IP without providing these models, which in turn will magnify the benefits realized by early ESL design and analysis. It will be much faster and more reliable to get to that initial working architectural model leveraging existing IP rather than creating everything from scratch.

As users we can help the process along. There is no justifiable reason not to support the standard languages and interface specifications. As users—by making it known that model availability and open-model conformance to the standard is a requirement—the economics of success will lead IP providers, model providers and tool suppliers to deliver the models that everyone needs to be successful in adopting ESL.

–Jon McDonald is a technical marketing engineer for the design and creation business at Mentor Graphics.