Accellera Systems Initiative has set up a working group to develop a language-independent way of capturing and managing test and stimuli that can be used across a wide range of verification environments.
The Portable Stimulus Working Group (PSWG) plans to work on a single specification that will be portable from IP to full system and across multiple target implementations. The formation of the group follows on from the work of a seed group within Accellera that defined a list of more than 100 requirements for an appropriate solution. A total of 37 individuals from 20 companies participated in the Portable Stimulus Proposed Working Group, representing semiconductor suppliers, systems houses, EDA vendors, and IP providers.
The problem today is that in functional verification a number of different languages and techniques are used to generate verification stimulus depending on whether a block, subsystem, SoC or system is being verified. When verifying designs at the block and subsystem level where the focus is on RTL, SystemVerilog is frequently used, as well as ‘e’, SystemC, and VHDL. At SoC and system level, embedded software is frequently used to exercise the design. But users have found it difficult to leverage block- or subsystem-level test scenarios at the SoC and system level.
In addition, the embedded software that drives stimulus in SoC and system level environments do not provide support for automated stimulus generation the way that languages such as SystemVerilog do using techniques such as constrained random generation. The working group aims to come up with a standard that allows the lower-level stimuli to be captured in such a way that they can be used in automated generators at all levels of verification.
Accellera technical committee chair Karen Pieper has appointed Faris Khundakjie as chair of the Portable Stimulus Working Group. The group will have a kick-off meeting March 5, 2015 to establish a mission statement, goals, milestones and roadmap, as well as to develop a Design Objective Document based on the requirements provided by the Proposed Working Group.
“The wide range of companies involved in setting the requirements demonstrates how much interest both vendors and users have in this topic,” said Khundakjie. “I look forward to working with all members to deliver and deploy another successful specification from the industry’s leading standards organization.”