July 17, 2012 -- High-level design (HLD) represents a hardware design at a more abstract level than register transfer level (RTL). A high-level synthesis (HLS) tool then can be used to produce the RTL necessary to implement the design in a standard tool chain. The design language typically supplies the mechanism that provides the "layer of abstraction" the designer can use. SystemC has become a widely accepted hardware-design language because it has both a base "hardware-abstraction layer" and the full C++ set of object-oriented features, notably the ability to create objects that encapsulate data and access methods. The use of objects in SystemC is a powerful means of creating abstraction by extension.
By John Sanguinetti and Mike Meredith. (Sanguinetti is chief technology officer of Forte Design Systems, Inc. and Meredith is Vice President of Technical Marketing at Forte Design Systems.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.