Software Tools for Efficient Code Development and Analysis in Hardware Design and Verification

Specador Documentation Generator

Specador is a tool that automatically generates accurate HTML documentation from comments inserted in the source code. It works in batch mode (command line) and uses dedicated language parsers.

The tool enables design and verification engineers to effortlessly generate and maintain proper and well-organized documentation. With Specador, users can generate meaningful documentation of a design or verification environment even from poorly documented source code, because Specador compiles the code and can generate cross-linked class inheritance trees, design hierarchies, and diagrams.

Specador can be easily integrated into existing development flows. The documentation is always in sync with the source code, thus eliminating meticulous and problematic tasks like maintaining diagrams or updating lists of ports or functions to reflect the current revision number.

Specador is especially useful for packaging IPs, either for the IP providers or for those using an IP-oriented flow in their company.

  • Language awareness - the documentation is organized by language specific concepts, including both relationship and structural information. For example, there are dedicated categories for packages, classes, entities or structs and one can easily explore the class inheritance, the design hierarchy or all entity architectures.
  • Cross-linked documentation - allows users to easily jump from the function documentation to one of its argument type documentation.
  • Hyperlinked diagrams - Specador includes diagrams such as Module Flow Diagrams or Inheritance and Collaboration UML Class Diagrams in the HTML output. The diagrams are hyperlinked and as such, one can click on a class in a diagram and jump to the chapter where it is documented.
  • Review-oriented sections - Specador generates sections that aggregate information that focuses on the coverage or checking aspects, for example.
  • Quick search - users can search the documentation by class or module name
  • Enhanced readability of the HTML output - because Specador recognizes the JavaDoc or NaturalDocs syntax, users can beautify the HTML output by using attributes like bold, italic, and lists.
  • Documentation control - allows users to control what documentation they generate. For example, they can filter out whole packages or private APIs. One may not want to expose an internal API, hence one has the ability to select what API subset will be documented.
  • Additional embedded or linked documentation - one can easily embed other HTML documentation, add additional menus in the table of contents, or add links to MS Word and PDF documents and extra screenshots.
  • Scalability - Specador automatically creates cross-links to pre-generated documentation of other IPs or projects.
  1. Generates well-organized and effective documentation, even from limited source code comments.
  2. Integrates easily into existing development flows allowing design and verification groups to automate the documentation process
  3. Keeps the generated documentation in sync with the source code, therefore saving time and reducing maintenance costs
  4. Enhances IP packaging
  5. Simplifies and encourages documenting the source code

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