Verification

December 14, 2010

An introduction to System Verilog assertions

Assertions and assertion-based verification (ABV) are hot topics, but many engineering teams remain unfamiliar with the benefits they bring to the design and verification process. This article discusses the rationale behind them, the value they bring across the design and verification process, and offers a step-by-step approach to implementing them.
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September 10, 2010

Symbolic simulation speeds timing closure

Timing closure is a key challenge for today’s complex system-on-chip designs. Static timing analysis (STA) tools automatically analyze signal paths in a design and identify timing-critical paths that limit the clock frequency that can be achieved. Paths that can never be functionally activated or that require multiple cycles for correct operation can be identified as [...]
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June 1, 2010

Device native debug and verification for FPGA

GateRocket's RocketDrive facilitates integration of an FPGA into an HDL simulator to provide a "native" execution of a design on its target FPGA device. The companion RocketVision tool provides software-debugging capabilities that directly identify and enable the rapid resolution of bugs. This article considers the use of these tools in a "device native" verification and [...]
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June 1, 2010

Application-specific library subsetting

The limited cell count of standard cell libraries is restricting the performance that designs can achieve without resorting to expensive and time-consuming techniques. This article describes the addition of extended cell libraries and novel synthesis tools to a traditional RTL-to-GDSII flow in a new methodology that helps to overcome this performance brake. The technique is [...]
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December 1, 2009

Part 4- Power management in OCP-IP 3.0

According to Moore’s Law, system-on-chips (SoCs) should continually become more complex and integrate more components, enabled by each reduction in silicon technologies. However, power consumption does not follow the linear path implied here due to increasing leakage in deep sub-micron technologies. Hence, new power management techniques are needed to reduce power dissipation as much as […]

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September 2, 2009

Part 3 – A unified, scalable SystemVerilog approach to chip and subsystem verification

The article describes LSI’s work on the use of a single SystemVerilog-based (SV) verification environment for both the chip and its submodules. The environment is based on SV’s Advanced Verification Methodology (AVM) libraries, although alternatives are available. One particular reason for choosing AVM was that LSI wanted to leverage its transaction-level modeling capabilities as well […]

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September 1, 2009

Extending UPF for incremental growth

Erich Marschner Accellera’s Unified Power Format (UPF) is in production use today, delivering the low-power system-on-chip (SoC) designs that are so much in demand. Building upon that success, IEEE Std 1801-2009 [UPF] offers additional features that address the challenges of low-power design and verification. These include more abstract specifications for power supplies, power states, and […]

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May 1, 2009

A holistic approach to low-power verification

The article describes a dedicated low-power functional verification methodology, originally developed at STMicroelectronics (now ST-Ericsson). The article details the content, sequence and effectiveness of the methodology as it was tested on a 45nm system-on-chip design. In order of use, the main components are: A high-level verification language testbench Formal verification Rule checking C function library […]

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May 1, 2009

A pulsed UWB receiver SoC for insect motion control

The article describes the context and need for embedded operating systems that are more responsive to the power management demands placed on today’s electronic devices. It reviews the design objectives for the two main types of power management, reactive and proactive, and examines how both can be implemented. For decades, scientists and engineers have been […]

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May 1, 2009

Advanced RTL power-aware verification

Traditional verification tools struggle to deal with today’s increasingly sophisticated power management technologies. One major limitation is that they cannot deal with varying power states because they make a built-in assumption that devices are always fully powered on. Further, power-aware verification at the register-transfer level is proving increasingly problematic, although it is also becoming increasingly […]

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