We present a language "Hardware viewed as Objects and Processes"
(HOP) for specifying the structure, behavior, and timing of hardware
systems. HOP embodies a simple process model for lock-step synchronous
processes. Processes may be described both as a black-box and as a collection
of interacting sub-processes. The latter can be statically simplified using
an algorithm 'PARCOMP'. PARCOMP symbolically simulates a collection of
interacting processes. The advantages claimed for HOP include simple
semantics, intuitiveness, high expressive power, and numerous provisions
to support easily verifiable designs all the way to VLSI layout.
After introducing HOP, and presenting some of the results obtained from
experimenting with the HOP design system, we present the design of a large
hardware system (the "Utah Simulation Engine") currently being developed
to speed-up distributed discrete event simulation using Time Warp. Issues
in the specification driven design of this system are discussed and
illustrated using HOP.
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