Verification

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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September 1, 2006

SPIRIT achieves maturity with IP-XACT specifications

Introduction Complete system-on-chip (SoC) design assembly, configuration and verification environments emerged in the 1990s to address an increasing design gap between the capacity of silicon and the ability of engineering teams to fill that gap meaningfully with optimized system designs. Despite the need being addressed by these early environments, adoption was slow. In this context, […]

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June 1, 2006

Addressing the design closure crisis

Why are more chips late to market and cost three times more to design at 90-nanometer (nm) than at 130nm? Today’s ASSPs and ASICs are huge, approaching one billion transistors, with clock speeds exceeding 1-GHz. Engineers struggle to manage the complexity of devices that achieve these levels of performance and size. A natural reaction to […]

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June 1, 2006

A SystemVerilog AMBA ABP monitor

Productivity levels for hardware design, specification, simulation and validation have been raised by the formal approval of IEEE 1800 SystemVerilog as an industry standard. Evolved from the Verilog hardware description language, SystemVerilog is now the language of choice for developing verification and design intellectual property (IP). As a result, EDA companies are progressing rapidly in […]

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March 1, 2006

Integrated, comprehensive assertion-based coverage

Introduction The emergence of the SystemVerilog and PSL assertion languages promises to improve the effectiveness of existing verification flows. First, assertions give better local observability of the functionality they represent. Second, the assertions augment the textual specification to provide a more formal, executable representation of the functionality. Third, since the assertion languages have common semantics […]

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March 1, 2006

Have your cake and eat it: the future of simulation and verification

T he explosion in consumer electronics, especially in the wireless/handheld devices marketplace, has placed a tremendous technical and business burden on engineers in the design of these products. Design teams carry the responsibility of catering to often conflicting and always challenging product specifications. The product needs to be optimized on multiple demand vectors with little […]

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