February 28, 2012

Using assertions in ‘elemental analysis’ for airborne hardware development – Part One

This two-part article discusses the verification requirements of the RTCA DO-254 design assurance guidelines, including advanced methods for use on class DAL A/B designs. The first part provides a general overview. It also explains the original intent behind the concept of 'elemental analysis', how it is typically satisfied today with code coverage, and the limitations [...]
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January 24, 2012

The principles of functional qualification

Functional logic errors remain a significant cause of project delays and re-spins. One of the main reasons is that two important aspects of verification environment quality—the ability to propagate the effect of a bug to an observable point and the ability to observe the faulty effect and thus detect the bug—cannot be analyzed or measured. [...]
August 23, 2011

Addressing SoC performance challenges in advanced deep-submicron CMOS processes

The article describes a novel optimization approach that extends leading methodologies to improve performance, power and area. It is based on a pre-generated cell library that extends commercially available foundry libraries and couples it with novel logic optimization to aim for the delivery of near full-custom performance levels. The approach assesses the gate-level netlist generated [...]
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August 23, 2011

Bridging the analog-digital divide for verification

Bridging the analog-digital divide is tough, particularly when it comes to verification. The two domains are marked by a host of differences with regard to tools, methodologies and the basic means of developing and testing designs. Analog engineers do most of their work by building and moving graphics while their digital counterparts do most of [...]
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August 23, 2011

Combining algebraic constraints with graph-based intelligent testbench automation

The description of the stimulus to a device-under-test is becoming ever more complex. Complex constraint relationships need to be defined, and the use of randomly generated stimulus to achieve comprehensive coverage metrics is proving less predictable and more labor-intensive. Using the combination of a graph-based stimulus description with a more intelligent algebraic constraint solver, a [...]
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June 20, 2011

Inexact computing means knowing exactly what to cut

Pruning back circuits can boost performance for some applications.
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June 2, 2011

Efficient RC power grid verification using node elimination

To ensure the robustness of an integrated circuit, its power distribution network (PDN) must be validated beforehand against any voltage drop on VDD nets. However, due to the increasing size of PDNs, it is becoming difficult to verify them in a reasonable amount of time. Lately, much work has been done to develop Model Order [...]
February 25, 2011

Firmware verification using SystemVerilog OVM

Your current verification strategy, no matter how robust, may not always satisfy the latest demands placed upon it given the rate of change in semiconductor design. To stay at the forefront of innovation, you must be willing and able to take advantage of the potential in emerging and evolving technologies. It is not simply that […]

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February 25, 2011

Planning reset strategies: flow and functionality in OVM verification components

The article describes a methodology and appropriate code for developing a reset strategy that will work within a verification process. Specifically, the proposal has been drafted within the terms of the Open Verification Methodology.
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February 25, 2011

OVM testbench API for accelerating coverage closure

Constrained random testbenches excel at quickly hitting the majority of coverage but their effectiveness trails off as coverage closure nears completion. This paper describes a testbench API that sits on top of OVM sequences allowing the existing constrained random infrastructure to be guided, enabling faster, more efficient coverage closure. Design and verification engineers can use [...]
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