We describe the Rainbow hardware design framework for supporting the design of asynchronous systems using Sutherland’s Micropipeline design philosophy. The framework offers a range of user-level description styles for asynchronous systems, in order to meet the requirements of hardware engineers. Full interworking between the component sub-languages is supported, enabling the construction of multi-view descriptions of a single design. The framework offers rapid design description and simulation at a high level, so that the functionality and performance of the design can be assessed and experimented with at an early stage in the design cycle. We outline the characteristics of the underlying semantic model, which is based on a specialised process algebra whose primitives also operate at the micropipeline level. A simple processor design is used to illustrate the different description styles supported.
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Department of Computer Science, University of Manchester,