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Graham Bell
Graham Bell
Graham is VP of Marketing at Real Intent. He has over 20 years experience in the design automation industry. He has founded startups, brought Nassda to an IPO and previously was Sales and Marketing Director at Internet Business Systems, a web portal company. Graham has a Bachelor of Computer … More »

DAC Panel Recap: “You Say You Want a Verification Revolution?”

 
July 2nd, 2015 by Graham Bell

I was an organizer for the industry DAC panel on “Scalable Verification: Evolution or Revolution?” held during the second week of June in San Francisco.  While the industry generally agrees on methodologies used to verify IP blocks or subsystems, we lack consensus on approaches required to verify SoC integration and system-level functionality of embedded systems. One of questions addressed by the panelists was “Can existing standards and methodologies be extended to address system-level challenges, or are new approaches required?”

The panel was moderated by that veteran verification technologist Brian Bailey.  He was excellent in steering the panelists through this deep topic.   The panelists were all from semiconductor companies (not EDA) and included the following:

  • Ali Habibi, design verification methodology lead at Qualcomm
  • Steven Jorgensen, architect for the Hewlett-Packard Networking Provision ASIC Group;
  • Bill Greene, CPU verification manager for ARM
  • Mark Glasser, verification architect at Nvidia.

Brian has written an excellent article on the panelists insights in his column on SemiEngineering.com.  Here are a few quick snippets to entice you in reading the entire piece:

“Simulators are not making effective use of the advances in the underlying hardware. Design sizes are growing faster than the improvements they are making.”

“Design reuse has not helped us, and even if you change only 20% of a design you still have to completely re-verify it. We need to be able to describe features and functionality in an abstract manner, and from that derive the inputs to the verification tools.”

“You might think that we are able to re-use much of our verification collateral from the IP, unit and top levels into the system-level environment, but this isn’t the case. You can’t find new bugs by running stimulus that was used in the past, and this means that the notions of coverage are different.”

You can read the entire column at this link:  Wrong Verification Revolution Offered.   Be sure to add your comments at the end and let Brian know what you think is missing in verification.

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