Incorporation of Physical Layer Characteristics into System Level Modeling of Large Digital Systems

R. Hoare, S. Tung, B. Farren, and Z. Ding (USA)


Simulation, Physical Layer, Multi-Processor, ModelSim


This paper presents a framework for simulating digital systems involving multiple components that are interconnected through a physical communication sub system. The goal is to be able to model the same system at various levels of development using the same framework. Large digital systems are comprised of numerous chips that communicate through electrical and/or optical interconnections. Physical layer interconnections are modeled in the analog domain while the remainder of the system is typically modeled digitally. This segments the system-level modeling from the actual implementation. We present a method of capturing the key characteristics of the physical interconnection system so that it can be modeled digitally at the system level. While the focus of this paper is on the design of networks and high performance multi-processor systems, the framework provides a method for simulating any large digital system by incorporating the physical-layer characteristics into a digital simulator.

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