Verification

December 1, 2007

A verification methodology for programmable and reconfigurable processors

The article describes and illustrates, by way of a case study, an innovative approach to functional verification. It enables the reuse of test patterns through the coordinated combination of a top-level testbench and subordinate testbench modules. It is based on a new add-on tool, VTrac+, that extends Mentor Graphics’ ModelSim/Questa software to stimulate, compare and […]

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December 1, 2007

Asynchronous clocks prove tough for verification

For simulation to correctly predict silicon behavior, the logic implementing a design should adhere to the setup and hold constraints specified for clocked elements. However, with multiple asynchronous clocks on a single chip driving logic, designers cannot help but violate setup and hold constraints. This causes metastability, which in its turn leads to non-deterministic delays […]

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September 1, 2007

Changing the economics of chip verification

Introduction Burgeoning design complexity has greatly increased the scale of the verification effort. At the same time, there is a widening gap between the growth in vital activities such as functional verification and the ability of tools and methodologies to fulfill such tasks efficiently. If we fail to close that gap, the potential impact on […]

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September 1, 2007

Automating the SSN verification challenge

Simultaneous Switching Noise (SSN) is the voltage fluctuation caused by the simultaneous switching of groups of output chip I/O drivers that drive high slew rate signals. It has an impact on I/O and core power supply lines and on signal lines, and is an increasingly important challenge for designs that incorporate high performance interfaces, such […]

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September 1, 2007

Introducing new verification methods into a design flow: an industrial user’s view

Verification has become one of the main bottlenecks in hardware and system design. Several verification languages, methods and tools addressing different issues in the process have been developed by EDA vendors in recent years. This paper takes the industrial user’s point of view to explore the difficulties posed when introducing new verification methods into ‘naturally […]

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June 1, 2007

Shadow model and coverage driven processor verification using SystemVerilog

This paper describes a random test generation strategy we are using to complement the verification of upcoming generations of processor. SystemVerilog provided the means to define the functional coverage of our design and to employ the shadow modeling technique, significantly improving our verification flow. Shadow modeling is a reliable method for proving the functionality of […]

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March 1, 2007

Revealing the hidden cost of performance for physical verification

The increasingly onerous nature of physical verification at today’s nanometer process geometries requires the regular benchmarking of appropriate tools, if designs are to be realized in a cost-effective manner. However, the criteria for such benchmarking are all too often limited to relatively simplistic notions of ‘performance’. The article explains that the real cost of physical […]

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December 1, 2006

Common pitfalls in PCI Express design

PCI Express is a point-to-point communications interface. It is neither an evolved nor enhanced form of PCI or PCI-X, but, essentially, a high speed, low voltage, differential serial pathway for communication between two devices, although it uses the same programming model as its predecessors. It employs a protocol that allows devices to communicate simultaneously by […]

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September 1, 2006

The ‘What’, ‘When’, and ‘How Much’ of functional coverage

Up to 80% of the overall design cycle time can today be spent on verification. Constrained-random testing (CRT) was developed in response to greatly reduce the amount of code needed to create a verification environment. However, CRT-based methodologies that do not include functional coverage are analogous to shooting blind [1]. Functional coverage provides essential feedback […]

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September 1, 2006

Verifying complexity with an all-encompassing methodology

The increased size and complexity of designs continues to push design and verification methodologies to progressively higher levels of abstraction. These upward shifts in abstraction tend to occur about every decade or so, and we are currently experiencing one in the shift from RTL to transaction-level modeling (TLM). Abstractions must eventually be converted back effectively […]

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