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Bill Jason
Bill Jason
Bill is responsible for Aldec Hardware Emulation and SoC / ASIC Prototyping. He received his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Auburn University in Alabama in 2011, and currently undertaking his M.S in Electrical Engineering with a focus on hardware emulation methodology and Built-In-Self-Test for … More »

Biggest Hits and Trends from ARM TechCon

 
November 6th, 2013 by Bill Jason

The recent ARM® TechCon Conference in Santa Clara was definitely the front-runner of my favorite conferences that I attended this year. Fun, informative and filled with software engineers, physical designers, design verification teams, and hardware engineers – ARM TechCon was the place to be to learn about the latest innovations from the embedded industry. Aldec was there showcasing our HES-DVM™ and HES-7™ platforms, which enable engineers to utilize emulation and FPGA-based prototyping to verify the latest ARM designs.

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Aldec and NEC reveal HLS shortcut at upcoming SoC Conference

 
October 18th, 2013 by Satyam Jani

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is popular for many things, but I recall during my school days that it was distinctly known among students for its underground tunnel network. The official story is that they were simply built to house heating and cooling pipes. Yet, the rumor persists that this complex maze of underground tunnels was constructed decades ago to provide safe passage for faculty members in case of student riots.

I’ll admit I would love to uncover these tunnels someday, unfortunately they have long been sealed off from curiosity seekers. I will, however, be at the UCI campus next week unraveling a different sort of maze for engineers attending the annual International SoC Conference. Aldec is once again a Platinum Sponsor for this popular academic conference, and this year I will be joined by NEC Corporation’s Dr. Wakabayashi to present a technical session:

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Integrating SystemVerilog and SCE-MI for Faster Emulation Speed

 
October 9th, 2013 by Bill Jason

In the last SCE-MI article, we discussed how SCE-MI macro-based infrastructures can speedup SoC design verification time. In SCE-MI 2.1, Accelera introduced a ‘function-based’ infrastructure which is based on SystemVerilog DPI functionality. The SystemVerilog DPI is an interface which can be used to connect SystemVerilog files with foreign languages (C, C++, SystemC, etc).

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Why Randomize?

 
September 24th, 2013 by Jerry Kaczynski

Jim Lewis, VHDL Training Expert at SynthWorks (and founding member of OSVVM, which Aldec was an early adopter of) was kind enough to author a guest blog for Aldec. Here’s an excerpt:

After presenting a conference paper on how to do OSVVM-style constrained random and intelligent coverage (randomization based on functional coverage holes), I received  a great question, “Why Randomize?”

The easiest way to answer this is with an example.  Let’s look at a FIFO test – test a FIFO, write to it, read from it, write to it and read from it simultaneously, fill it and see that additional writes are held off successfully, and empty it and see that additional reads are held off successfully. 

Most certainly a FIFO can be tested using a directed test (just code, no randomization).  The following simulation waveform shows diffcount (the number of words in the FIFO) for a directed test.   The lowest value is empty.  The highest is full.  Using this, you can visually check off all of the required conditions and see that the FIFO is indeed tested.

For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

Following the Roadmap to Successful Traceability

 
September 23rd, 2013 by Louie De Luna

If DO-254 is both the mission and the map required to achieve compliance, then traceability represents the roads on that map. Consider this.

- Roads connect two or more places on a map; traceability connects two or more elements in a project (such as functions, requirements, concept, design, verification data and test results).

- Road names help identify specific places that are linked to it; traceability names help identify specific project elements that are linked to it.

– In the absence of roads, reaching your destination is practically impossible;  in the absence of traceability achieving compliance is also practically impossible.

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SCE-MI for SoC Verification

 
September 18th, 2013 by Bill Jason

Today’s System-on-Chip verification teams are moving up in the levels of abstraction to increase the degree of coverage in the system design. As designs grow larger, we start to see an increase in test time within our HDL simulations. Engineers can utilize Hardware-Assisted approaches such as simulation acceleration, transaction-level co-emulation, and prototyping to combat the growing simulation times of an RTL simulator. In this article, we’ll dive much deeper into the transaction-level co-emulation methodology.

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Verilog-AMS & Multi-Level Simulation

 
September 16th, 2013 by Dmitry Melnik

It occurred to me that it has been a few months since we shared an update on HiPer Simulation A/MS. Following DAC 2013 and Daniel Payne’s posts at SemiWiki (post 1, post 2), we at Aldec and Tanner EDA have received many inquiries from the field, conducted a number of evaluations, and deployed our analog/mixed-signal (AMS) design flow with our first mutual customers. In this article, I’ll share more the mixed-signal simulation methodology and highlight some of Verilog-AMS use cases that we have seen in the field.

Digital & Analog HDLs

The Verilog and VHDL languages were designed to handle discrete signals, where the number of possible signal values is limited (e.g. 1, 0, X, Z). Whereas Verilog-A was designed to handle continuous-time (analog) signals, that can take any value from a continuous range at any point.

For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

The WHAT is mandatory but the HOW is entirely optional

 
September 9th, 2013 by Satyam Jani

You look confused. Perhaps I owe you an explanation. Anyone familiar with hardware design flow knows that it starts with specification and ends with implementation. The specification in this flow is the “What” – it defines what needs to be designed. The process for implementation is the “How” – it defines how you are going to achieve it.

Let’s break down just one part of the “How” or implementation – the Design Process. For many years hand-coded RTL has been used as the de facto method for implementation and it is still being used as predominant method for designing cutting-edge hardware. But does it follow that it is the most efficient method? I would say probably not, especially given the ever-growing complexity of the hardware.

For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

90’s Kid Active-HDL Celebrates Sweet 16

 
August 28th, 2013 by Satyam Jani

As the proud Product Manager of Aldec’s  FPGA Design Simulation solution,  I am excited (like it was my first Cranberries concert) to announce that Active-HDL™ is celebrating 16 years since its initial release in 1997. Active-HDL has not merely stood the test of time, it has dominated the FPGA market like a Hulk Hogan smackdown with powerful simulation performance and debugging tools.

The key to Active-HDL’s long-term success lies in Aldec’s customer-centric philosophy. Simply put, we really do listen closely to our users and invest heavily in our tools. For this reason, continued simulation performance optimizations from release to release enable users to benefit from Active-HDL’s faster simulation even as the size of FPGA designs continues to grow.

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The Magic of CyberWorkBench

 
August 22nd, 2013 by Satyam Jani

Dr. Benjamin Carrion Schafer, Assistant Professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (and longtime fan of Aldec’s latest offering, CyberworkBench from NEC) was kind enough to author a guest blog for Aldec. Here’s an excerpt:

My first encounter with NEC’s CyberWorkBench (CWB) was in 2003 while attending DAC. Like most people, I was surprised to see a big Japanese company offering EDA tools. NEC is definitely known more for its consumer products and telecommunication equipment. I have to admit, the main reason I stopped at their booth – was that they had hired a magician.

This magician told the audience he would teach us a trick and give us a set of magic cards if we stayed until the end of the presentation. I did and I received my set of magic cards (which I still keep). At the same time I also became a CWB user and even wound up working for NEC.

As an assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, I currently teach advanced VLSI courses and use CWB. It has some amazing capabilities. Let’s start with the fact that it supports ANSI-C and SystemC. Although SystemC might be a step in the right direction to have a unique standardized IEEE language, supported by all main HLS tools, it is not very intuitive and takes some time to master (especially if the user does not have a C++ background). Here is where ANSI-C support becomes very handy. Most people do know ANSI-C and it is very straightforward to convert any ANSI-C SW description into synthesizable C code.

For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

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