Emulation is emerging as a solution to the increasing demands being placed on the verification of storage by the latest technologies and increasingly complex demands. Solid-state device (SSD) storage was already posing challenges before clients started to stretch the requirements placed upon datacenters.
Today’s range of applications (Figure 2) has created a generation of computation storage devices (CSDs) that move some processing closer to the storage module to reduce data loads and increase speeds. However while these can be successfully verified for functionality, they will nevertheless fall short in the real world because of issues with bandwidth and latency.
The sensitivity of many of these applications – particularly those that are safety-critical – means that the resulting development bottlenecks need to be addressed urgently.
A whitepaper, ‘Virtual Verification of Computational Storage Devices‘, describes a pre-silicon virtual emulation methodology that draws upon the higher power this technique offers alongside tools such as soft models, protocol analyzers and software-hardware based techniques.
According to author Ben Whitehead, a storage product specialist at Siemens EDA (formerly Mentor), the methodology “allows for pre-silicon performance and latency testing within 5 per cent of actual silicon. It is also a verification methodology that mirrors the tools that many teams use in the lab for bring up
and system test.”
This similarity with traditional in-circuit emulation and other existing techniques is seen as critical to seeding the virtual emulation approach more widely, though it is already being adopted within the CSD community.
The full methodology as described in the paper is summarized in Figure 2. It leverages the Veloce environment from Siemens EDA and the ecosystem around it.
The whitepaper is available at this link for immediate download.