Posts Tagged ‘formal verification’
Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
Several acquisitions this year caught my attention, and show the strategic importance of formal verification for chip design.
Proving that formal verification matters, Jasper Design Automation (founded by Oski CEO Vigyan Singhal) was recently acquired by Cadence Design Systems in June, for $170 million. (more…)
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Brian Bailey’s recent article on “Fixing Functional Coverage” in Semiconductor Engineering (http://semiengineering.com/fixing-functional-coverage/) polled experts from different companies about the challenges of catching all the bugs, utilizing assertions and expanding coverage to the entire system. This blog elaborates on the four points we made in Brian’s article about how formal can help with functional coverage. (more…)
Friday, June 13th, 2014
This year at DAC, we asked attendees to participate in a guessing game – make an educated guess about how long it takes to formally verify a design based on the given design description and statistics.
How Long Does it Take to Formally Verify This Design?
Here is a recap of the information provided to participants:
Reorder IP packets that can arrive out of order and dequeue them in order; when an exception occurs, the design flushes the IP packets for which exceptions has occurred. Support 36 different inputs that can send the data for one or more ports. Another interface provides dequeue requests for different ports. Design supports 48 different ports.
Packets arrive with valid signal; a request/grant mechanism for handling requests from 36 different sources; All 36 inputs are independent and can arrive concurrently; All 48 ports can be dequeued in parallel using another request/grant mechanism.
Design Micro-architecture Details
Supports enqueue and dequeue for IP packets for 362 different input and 48 different ports respectively; 48 different queues used to store IP packets for different ports; A round robin arbiter resolves contention between enqueue requests from different sources for the same port at the same cycle. (more…)
Friday, May 23rd, 2014
Every year John Cooley publishes a DAC “must-see” list – a veritable treasure map of good stories. While this list has served DAC attendees in the past, in recent years it has continued to miss an important segment of the ecosystem: the growing number of service providers.
Oski Technology is one such service provider. In fact Oski is the only service provider in the formal verification space, and plays an important role in promoting formal adoption in the industry. Formal can improve verification efficiency and productivity, lead to reduced project cost and shorten time-to-market. Since 2005 we have partnered with many leading semiconductor companies to tape out mission-critical designs and build up their internal formal expertise. (more…)
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
In our visits to many of our customers in the past year, we received a few common requests from companies both large and small:
- Can you help us find formal expertise to hire?
- Can you train our engineers to become formal experts?
- Can you help us build an internal formal team – fast?
Thursday, March 20th, 2014
DVCon 2014 was a terrific show for Oski Technology. Not only were we proud to receive an “Honorable Mention” for (2nd) Best Paper at DVCon “Sign-off with Bounded Formal Verification Proofs”, we had the opportunity to have many meaningful conversations with existing customers and others new to formal verification and eager to learn more about what is possible with formal verification. Our DVCon “Sign-off” paper is available on the Oski Technology Web site. See our DVCon 2014 video here.
DVCon 2014 Oski Technology, Vigyan Singhal
Monday, February 3rd, 2014
Oski Technology launched the quarterly Decoding Formal Club with the goal of creating an industry-wide, independent platform for all formal enthusiasts to share ideas, challenges and solutions so as to advance formal technology and promote formal sign-off in the industry.
On Jan. 23rd 2014, we had our second meeting in the Computer History Museum. 28 formal enthusiasts (many of them formal experts) gathered from 16 different companies including ACM, Broadcom, Cadence, Chelsio, Cisco, Ericsson, Ikanos, Jasper, MediaTek, Mentor Graphics, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, SMI, Synopsys and a stealth startup. Talks were given by Normando Montecillo from Broadcom on data integrity verification and Vigyan Singhal, Oski CEO, on Abstraction Models.
It was a very successful event as demonstrated by the anonymous survey results. Answers to the question “What are your primary goals for attending the event?” reinforced the original intention of the group’s founders, that is to facilitate knowledge sharing and networking among formal experts. (more…)
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
Oski Technology provides formal verification services to leading semiconductor companies to verify complex design blocks that are difficult to verify using simulation. In our projects, we often write Abstraction Models to overcome formal complexity barriers that would otherwise render formal verification results inconclusive. For example, for the open-source Sun OpenSparc T1 design, verifying a data transport checker without the Abstraction Models would have taken an estimated 991 days of run-time, but only 147 seconds with the Abstraction Models, a significant speed-up of 600,000X. With Abstraction Models and other similar techniques, formal verification can be used as sign-off criteria in the verification flow; Oski has helped many customers adopt and develop formal sign-off flows.
Customers often have the misconception that Abstraction Models reduce design behaviors which makes the formal verification task easier and allow it to finish sooner. They worry about missing bugs with Abstraction Models. In reality however, Abstraction Models do not reduce design behaviors; to the contrary they add to design behaviors by adding new reset states, and/or state transitions. As a result, no bug will be missed. More is less because when more behaviors are added purposefully and artfully, they can actually make the formal verification job easier for the tools and take less time. This might be counter-intuitive and may take some time and practice to get used to. But if one understands the concept and techniques of writing and using Abstraction Models, formal verification can be put to much better and broader use.
Because each design is different, custom Abstraction Models are needed for each design. There is no Abstraction Model VIP one can purchase to fit all kinds of designs. The good news is that knowing when and how to use Abstraction Models is very much a teachable, learnable skill. We teach our customers about Abstraction Models in our projects and we include the Abstraction Models we develop for the project as source code so customers can write their own Abstraction Models in future projects.
Now is your opportunity to learn more about abstraction models. Vigyan Singhal Oski CEO, will be presenting a talk on Abstraction Models in the upcoming Oski Decoding Formal Club event on Jan. 23rd, 2013 in Mountain View, CA. The talk will cover what Abstraction Models are, when you need them, how to write them and how to use them, using real examples.
Space is limited, so don’t miss this opportunity to come and learn more about Abstraction Models so your formal verification runs will take less time. Register for Oski Decoding Formal Club event on Jan. 23rd, here.
Event: Decoding Formal Club meeting
Date: Thursday January 23, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Venue: Mountain View, CA.
For Abstraction Models, More is Less!
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Oski Technology may be named for the famous University of California at Berkeley’s bear mascot, but Oski is not bearish at all on the formal verification market. In fact, it’s downright bullish on this form of verification and its importance to chip design.
One recent morning, Vigyan Singhal, Oski’s president and CEO, was in the Mountain View, Calif., corporate headquarters ready to discuss his life in formal verification and what inspires him and the company he founded. (more…)
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
Formal verification, and in particular model checking, has been around for a few decades now. I found my first post-silicon bug using formal 20 years ago at Motorola Austin in the cache controller block of a PowerPC chip. The power of formal technology drove my Ph.D research and subsequent career in formal verification.
Early on in my career, I focused on developing formal verification tools at Cadence. Later, I founded Jasper and did more of the same. Over the years however, despite the continuous improvement of formal technology, I find that formal adoption has been less than stellar. In particular, I feel people are not harnessing the full power that formal tools can provide. What is needed besides good tools is a scalable methodology.
Methodology is a body of practices, procedures, and rules used in a discipline. In simulation, both open source methodologies e.g. OVM (open verification methodology), UVM (universal verification methodology) and proprietary verification methodologies, internally developed by design teams of a company, exist. These have been of great help to the design and verification communities, which help scale simulation to keep up with the ever increasing complexity of the designs.