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 The Breker Trekker

Archive for November, 2013

Which Conferences Do Verification Engineers Like Best?

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

The Breker Trekker has been publishing for about seven months now, with 32 posts to date, so running just about once a week. When we started, we committed a new post every two weeks so we’ve been running well ahead of our own expectations. We’re very happy with the growth of our readership and we’d like to take this chance to thank every one of you reading this.

Frankly, we have not been as successful at driving an ongoing dialogue via comments. We’ve had a few comments here and there but not nearly as many as we would like to see. So for this week’s post we’re trying something different: posing a question directly to our readers and heartily encouraging all of you to share your thoughts by leaving a comment at the bottom. Today’s topic: which conferences and trade shows do you find most useful?

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Will Graph-Based Scenario Models Dominate Verification?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

In last week’s post, I responded to an article in which Jasper‘s CEO is quoted as saying “formal will dominate verification” and that concluded “at some point in the future, formal will be the default choice for every verification task in the way that simulation/emulation is today.” I challenged this statement, giving examples of SoC verification where I do not believe that formal analysis alone can provide the answer.

Thinking about formal in that way naturally led me to ask the same question about Breker’s technology. Will graph-based scenario models “dominate verification?” At some point in the future, will graph-based scenario models “be the default choice for every verification task in the way that simulation/emulation is today?” As I promised last week, I’ll offer my thoughts on these questions as well.

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Will Formal Really Dominate Verification?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Today’s post is prompted by a recent article on SemiWiki in which Jasper Design Automation’s CEO Kathryn Kranen is quoted as saying “formal will dominate verification.” There is a nice set of metrics from Jasper’s recent User Group meeting showing their impressive growth in revenue, logos, users, and licenses as supporting evidence for formal’s increasing footprint. The article concludes by stating “at some point in the future, formal will be the default choice for every verification task in the way that simulation/emulation is today.”

That made me sit up and take notice. Before joining Breker, I spent the previous 12 years of my career focusing on formal analysis, about six years full-time and the rest as one component of a wider suite of verification products I managed. I’m a big fan of formal, but I don’t think that I can comfortably predict that it will “dominate” verification. Let  me share my thoughts.

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Emulation and Software-Driven SoC Verification: Two Peas in a Pod

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Emulation got its start in the late 1980s. As an early employee of the pioneering company in emulation, Quickturn Design Systems, I remember the enthusiasm created by the promises of the technology and the challenges that came with its delivery. It is not an exaggeration to state that many of the early adopters failed to get a decent ROI on their emulation investment because of finicky software or unreliable hardware.

However, emulation has come a long way in terms of performance, ease-of-use, reliability, and pricing. This maturity enables SoC design teams all over the world to make emulation a key component of their verification arsenal. The three major suppliers of emulation are enjoying steady growth and almost unstoppable momentum due to the increasing complexity of SoCs.

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