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Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson is vice president of Marketing for Breker Verification Systems. He previously served as Product Management Group Director for Advanced Verification Solutions at Cadence, Technical Marketing Director in the Verification Group at Synopsys and Vice President of Applications Engineering at … More »

Please Welcome the Accellera Portable Stimulus Working Group

February 11th, 2015 by Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing

As you may have seen this morning, the EDA standards organization Accellera officially announced the formation of the Portable Stimulus Working Group (PSWG). This group has the charter to “develop the electronic industry’s first standard for portable test and stimulus. When completed and adopted, this standard will enable a single specification that will be portable from IP to full system and across multiple target implementations.”

Regular readers will note that this wording sounds very familiar. At Breker, we’ve been talking about vertical reuse from IP to SoC and horizontal reuse across all verification platforms for years. At times we’ve felt like pioneers with arrows in our back. The formation of the PSWG is a validation that we’ve been heading in the right direction. We’re excited to see the industry embracing the challenges of SoC verification and starting to work on a new standard to address these challenges.

Those of you who follow Accellera a bit may wonder what’s new, since a Proposed Working Group (PWG) on Portable Stimulus was formed and active last year. The current Accellera process provides for a PWG that first assesses industry interest in a possible standard before the definition process begins. The PWG, with 37 participants from a wide range of companies, decided that there is an industry need for a standard on portable stimulus and recommended that Accellera start this work.

Today’s announcement shows that the Accellera leadership agreed with the recommendation and established the PSWG as the follow-on group to define the standard. Faris Khundakjie from Intel has been named as Chair of the Portable Stimulus Working Group. We’ve had the chance to get to know Faris well as we participated together in the PWG, and believe that he is an excellent choice to lead the new effort. We at Breker pledge to do all that we can to help him and the group succeed.

We would like to see the scope of the standard, and ideally even the group’s name, widen to include results checking and coverage as well as stimulus. Perhaps “portable test cases” would be a more accurate term. Also, while the PSWG was not formed specifically to standardize graphs, we still believe that graphs are the best known way to accomplish both portability and other important verification benefits, but are open to other methods that the working group may consider.

In a previous post, we also expressed some reservations about the timing of the proposed standard and wondered if perhaps it was too early. Well, working in the PWG over the last eight months has erased any doubts. There is a lot of enthusiasm for standardization in this space–our space. Last fall’s DVCon India was dominated by the topic of portable stimulus. There are multiple commercial solutions of varying relevance now available, with doubtless more to come.

We closed our earlier post by making our position on standardization clear:

  • We will participate actively in the PWG
  • If the industry decides to form a Working Group, we will join Accellera and will continue to participate actively
  • If Accellera issues a call for donations or contributions, we will submit our specification format for consideration

We did participate very actively in the PWG, Accellera has now formed the PSWG, and we have joined Accellera. Anticipating a call for contributions, we are already hard at work  documenting what we believe would be a powerful but usable standard specification. It’s great that so much of the industry has moved into the realm that we pioneered. It’s our obligation to continue to lead in this domain and produce the right solution for our customers and the industry as a whole.

Tom A.

The truth is out there … sometimes it’s in a blog.

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