Checkpointing in SystemC @ FDL

fdllogosmallAlong with Marius Monton and Mark Burton of GreenSocs, I will be presenting a paper on checkpointing and SystemC at the FDL, Forum on Specification and Design Languages, in late September 2009.

The paper will explain how we did Simics-style checkpointing in SystemC, using the GreenSocs GreenConfig mechanisms to obtain an approximation for the Simics attribute system.

It is an approach that does not have the limitations of the “save the entire simulation process” method employed by Cadence (and I think also CoWare) in their SystemC checkpointing solution. It does require you to mark all relevant state in your models, but the benefit from doing so is that regardless of how you change the code of a model, you can still use the same old checkpoints. It is also portable across hosts. We did have to do some patching to the OSCI SystemC kernel to draw out and reset all relevant state from the kernel. The OSCI kernel does not provide sufficient interfaces to checkpoint its state in its vanilla form.

The conference takes place on September 22 to 24, in Sophia Antipolis in France. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get there in the most convenient way. I expect this to be as much fun as the other EDA conferences I have been to recently (I seem to only go to such events nowadays, nothing left on the old embedded circuit for me it seems).

By the way, the FDL logo is really pretty. I think all long-running events should spend the time to create a recognizable logo. My old real-time conferences used to just have plain text and the IEEE and ACM logos.


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