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Informal, Unformal, or Appformal? …and new

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Around the Design and Verification Conference in San Jose at the beginning of the March, a lot of activity was happening in the online world in preparation for the big meetup of the verification community.

First, the web-site published a set of five (5) articles that surveyed the world of formal verification in EDA, written by Jim Hogan, of Vista Ventures, a Silicon Valley investment firm.  Jim is currently on the Board of OneSpin, a formal tools company.  Knowing Jim, he did his homework before getting involved with them.  If you read the articles, which total 12,000 words, you will have to agree with me there is a lot of great content here.  If a technical writer charged for producing this, you would be looking at a bill close to $20,000.

These days you have to two general ways to verify the functionality of your RTL with formal.  You either write your own properties and then feed them and the RTL to a formal property verifier (FPV) tool, OR you have an application-focused formal tool  automatically read and apply properties to your design.


DVCon Recap

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

The Design and Verification Conference in Silicon Valley delivered the goods again this year. Here are some quick highlights from the show.


Graham talking to Koko and Pippa at the Oski Tech booth.


Free Panels and Keynote at DVCon in Silicon Valley

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

You will glad to know that the free Exhibits-Only registration for the Design and Verification Conference (DVCon) that is taking place Feb. 29 through Mar. 3,  gives you access to the Tuesday keynote by Wally Rhines of Mentor, and the two panels on Wednesday.  And don’t miss the Tuesday evening reception hosted by EDAC, which finishes with Jim Hogan speaking with Dr. Ajoy Bose (Atrenta) about his experiences building multiple successful companies.  Your DVCon registration gives you free access to this event.

Here are more details on the panels, one of which is organized by Real Intent.

Emulation + Static Verification Will Replace SimulationWednesday March 02, 1:30pm – 2:30pm | Oak/Fir (more…)

The Times They are a-Changin': Gravity Waves, Moore’s Law, and Record Basketball

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Big changes happened this week.

First, gravity waves have been detected for the first time in an announcement on Feb. 11.  This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos. Physicists have concluded that the detected gravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole. This collision of two black holes had been predicted but never observed.

The gravitational waves were detected by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA. The LIGO Observatories  were conceived, built, and are operated by Caltech and MIT.

Last March, researchers completed major upgrades to the interferometers, known as Advanced LIGO, increasing the instruments’ sensitivity and enabling them to detect a change in the length of each arm, smaller than one-ten-thousandth the diameter of a proton(!). By September, they were ready to start new observations and then saw the black hole merger. (more…)

Super Bowl 50, and Semiconductor and Design Predictions for 2016

Thursday, February 4th, 2016


The game will be played in the Silicon Valley city of Santa Clara.

Super Bowl 50 is being played this Sunday, Feb. 7 to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2015 season. It will be held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Carolina Panthers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos.  The game will be played about 6 miles from my house in the East Bay, but I will be enjoying the event on television.  There will be the usual collection of interesting commercials and the half-time entertainment will include the band Coldplay and feature Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.  My prediction is that the Panthers will beat the spread and defeat the Broncos by more than 6 points.  I have not made any cash bets. Yet.

Brian Bailey at does an annual survey of companies in the semiconductor ecosystem for their predictions of what will happen in 2016.  His articles (Design; Semiconductor, Manufacturing and Design; Tools and Flows) published several of my comments.  I did want to share with you the rest of my predictions and they are all given below.  Enjoy! (more…)

Technical Book Sale: Is $5 Cheap Enough?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Jay Littlefield, Director of Product Strategy and Business Development at Real Intent sent me an email last night about a $5 book and video sale going on at PACKT Publishing books.  Their titles are normally $30 to $50 and cover all the latest software technologies that are popular in the web, internet, database, big data and hobby communities.  Sorry, no EDA software titles.

So if you are interested in knowing more about Python machine learning, React.js essentials, mastering Swift 2, cooking with Spark, diving into ECMAScript 6, or learning Docker, visit the PACKT web-site.   The $5 titles are PDFs and also come in your favorite e-reader and Kindle formats.

At DAC, in 2014, we were giving away BeagleBone Black embedded computers for hobby projects.  I checked and PACKT has 16 different titles for BeagleBone enthusiasts including “Building a BeagleBone Black Super Cluster.”  Imagine configuring your own parallel computing Beowulf cluster!

Jay bought the following titles:

  • Learning Joomla! 3 Extension Development
  • Joomla! 3 Beginner’s Guide
  • WordPress 4.0 Site Blueprints
  • Learning ELK Stack
  • Kibana Essentials

The sales ends on Friday Jan. 8.

Happy New Year!

+Graham Survey: “Real Intent to possibly replace SpyGlass?”

Thursday, December 17th, 2015


It’s not a BUG, it’s a FEATURE!

John Cooley at does an annual survey of visitors to the Design Automation Conference to find out what was interesting, and the biggest lie.

In one of his roll-up articles he looked at Real Intent, Atrenta (acquired by Synopsys), and One Spin.

With acquisitions, customers get nervous and for good reason.  The support and responsiveness they get changes.  Five respondents said they were considering possibly replacing SpyGlass with Real Intent.  One user reported the following conversation:

“Your SpyGlass customer support won’t change as a result of the SNPS acquisition.” They actually said that to me with a straight face.

The article also reported a customer evaluation of our Ascent Lint and Meridian CDC (clock-domain crossing) tools. Here is a quick snippet: (more…)

Best of “Real Talk”, Q4 Summary and Latest Videos

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Real Intent has had an exciting 2015!  In the last few months we had a new release of Meridian CDC, a new distribution partner in Israel, and seen many of you at trade shows in China, Israel, Japan, and Germany.  Our YouTube video channel keeps you up to date on all the latest developments at Real Intent, with our most recent on Why A New Gate-level Physical CDC Verification Solution is Needed and X-pessimism: Why do We Care, and What are the Wrong and Right Fixes for it?.  I also discussed “New Physical CDC Sign-off and iDebug analysis” with Sanjay Gangal in an ARM TechCon video interview.

There have been over 50 postings on the Real Talk blog this year, and I have selected the most popular ones read by the EDACafe audience. Here are the top seven:

Is SystemVerilog the COBOL of Electronic Design?
Good news! The Next Big Thing in Verification is Already Here
A Personal History of Transaction Interfaces to Hardware Emulation
In fond Memory of Gary Smith
The Many Tentacled Monster Under My House (with pictures)
Taking Control of Constraints Verification
Billion Dollar Unicorns

Look for more postings on requirements for RTL sign-off in the coming year.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving and 2 Political Cartoons!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Just in case you have never read a Presidential proclamation, here is the text for Thanksgiving Day, 2015.  I learned something when I read it.  Following this are two political cartoons for your amusement.  Happy Thanksgiving to All!



- – – – – – -


Rooted in a story of generosity and partnership, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the gifts we have and to show our appreciation for all we hold dear.  Today, as we give of ourselves in service to others and spend cherished time with family and friends, we give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us.  We also honor the men and women in uniform who fight to safeguard our country and our freedoms so we can share occasions like this with loved ones, and we thank our selfless military families who stand beside and support them each and every day.

Video: “Why A New Gate-level CDC Verification Solution?”

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Recently, I interviewed Vikas Sachdeva, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager at Real Intent where we discusse why gate-level CDC verification is necessary, what are some of the failure modes that can occur, and why Meridian Physical CDC is the right tool to do gate-level sign-off. You can see the video below.  You can also find more information about Meridian Physical CDC here.

Click here to watch other Real Intent videos on our YouTube Channel.

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