Mar 26, 2004 (09:03 AM EST)
HDL Generation Language Adds Open-Source License

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Confluence, a declarative programming language that generates RTL code, C language models, and formal verification models, is now available under the GNU General Public License. The new Confluence 0.9 release also adds executable simulation models, automatic HTML documentation, and a new standard library.

Confluence was developed by engineer Tom Hawkins, founder of Launchbird Design Systems. It claims to provide a simple and clean way to describe extremely complex systems in just a few lines of code. Outputs include VHDL, Verilog, cycle-accurate C, NuSMV formal verification models, and XML netlists.

"This is probably the largest Confluence release to date," Hawkins said. He noted that the Confluence compiler now returns executable simulation models with bit and cycle accuracy. The models are controlled by a command and query language, allowing users to connect them to any verification environment or programming language.

A new standard library has been rebuilt with more organization and clearer naming conventions. Confluence libraries have reserved space for components for DSP, communication, on-chip busing, processors, and other categories. "Hopefully the open source community will start elaborating on these areas," Hawkins said. Standard libraries are available under the GNU Lesser Public License.

Also new in version 0.9 is cfdoc, a tool for generating HTML documentation from Confluence source code comments. "Currently the HTML is not the most attractive, but the formatting and capabilities of cfdoc will continue to improve," Hawkins said.

Confluence 0.9 source code and binary distributions are available at the Launchbird web site.