Semifore Launches CoStar™ Platform to Re-Shape Hardware Design, Software Development and Verification

PALO ALTO, Calif. May 23, 2016 — Semifore, Inc., a worldwide supplier of tools used to design and implement the hardware/software interface, today unveiled a platform of integrated tools to generate dramatic productivity improvements in hardware design, software development and verification for complex System-on-Chip (SoC) and FPGA design methodologies.

The platform, CoStar (Configuration Status Register) Design Director™ provides hardware and software design functionality and behavioral abstraction not available in any other commercial offering or industry standard. It provides multi-language support without the need for specialized interfaces or additional scripting to significantly improve designer productivity and interoperability efficiency as much as 70%. CoStar Design Director incorporates an agile design process to ensure best practices and early engagement by the entire design team.

“Semifore was founded by designers for designers,” said Rich Weber, CEO of Semifore. “Having experienced firsthand the limitations of internal scripts, I understand the challenges faced by designers. Over the last 10 years, I have worked to mitigate design risks due to lack of team communication and deficient standards processes, resulting in significant re-spins late in the design cycle. Our technology is production-proven and not only works with standards, but goes beyond them to provide a powerful evolutionary alternative for dynamic and prolific SoC design.”

Built on innovations used to specify register behavior and address map hierarchy, CoStar Design Director encompasses three innovations: CSRCompilerä, the CSRSpec™ Language and CSRConfigurator™.  The platform supports internal proprietary formats and industry standards. Based on customer requests and requirements, Semifore broadened its standards support to provide features and functions not available in UVM, IP-XACT, and SystemRDL.


The power behind CoStar Design Director, CSRCompiler provides orders-of-magnitude performance improvements while solving complex SoC issues. A true cross compiler engine with over 1,000 functional, behavioral, syntactic and semantic error checks, it is extremely fast and generates superior quality synthesizable RTL. Proven to compile over one million configuration and status registers in minutes, CSRCompiler automates all views and formats for register design. Innate to the compiler is its ability to lint intellectual property from third-party or internal legacy data, ensuring data is clean, verified and ready for use.

CSRSpec Language™

The CSRSpec language provides a single source to specify register behavior and address map hierarchy of a chip.  A terse and easy to understand language, it includes over 200 unique properties. When compiled, the language expands to a full implementation of human readable, high quality RTL ready for synthesis.  CSRSpec also provides highly configurable parameterized templates to promote design reuse and consistency between teams.


CSRConfigurator fully customizes outputs of CSRCompiler no matter the application, with no additional scripting or manual intervention needed.  It ensures each member of the design team receives the data in a way that will immediately plug into their design flow. With over 6,000 register behavior combinations, it is the configurable conduit to enable customizable output for each specific aspect of the design.

“Rich Weber is the go-to guy for all things RTL,” said Jim Hogan of Vista Ventures, LLC. His experience and translation of RTL and specifications has enabled Semifore to quietly build a compiler that is being used in a variety of applications by tier one customers. Semifore’s technology platform utilizes register behavior and the address map hierarchy to significantly improve designer productivity with extremely fast and quality results. I believe companies would be well advised to take a look.”

CoStar Design Director provides a highly iterative and scalable infrastructure for the specification and implementation of the hardware/software interface. Advantages include abilities to produce accurate, concise design descriptions; to lint and integrate clean third-party intellectual property and legacy designs; to generate single source high quality RTL; and to instantly document revisions for each functional team.

Pricing and Availability

CoStar Design Director comprised of CSRCompiler, CSRSpec and CSRConfigurator is shipping now.  Please contact for more product information, a product demonstration and pricing based on requirements.

About Semifore, Inc.

Founded in 2006, Semifore is the leading developer of products for the specification and implementation of the hardware/software interface. The company’s CoStar Design Director™ significantly improves designer productivity and interoperability efficiency as much as 70%. The platform encompasses three innovations: CSRCompiler™, the CSRSpec™ Language and CSRConfigurator™. The cornerstone of the solution, CSRCompiler is extremely fast, with the ability to compile thousands of registers in seconds. CoStar Design Director is easily integrated into internal design flows and commercial tools, and supports industry standards to include IP-XACT, SystemRDL and UVM.

Semifore, Inc. is a privately held company based in Silicon Valley, Calif.  Email: Website:


Semifore, CoStar, CoStar Design Director, CSRCompiler, CSRSpec, CSRConfigurator and the Semifore logo are trademarks of Semifore, Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.