EDACafe Weekly Review June 30th, 2016

Fix X-pessimism in Netlists with Practical Techniques
June 30, 2016  by Lisa Piper, Senior Technical Marketing Manager at Real Intent

Most functional verification is done before the RTL is handed off for digital synthesis. Gate-level simulations take longer and are hard to debug, but still needed to verify some circuit behavior. Ideally, the output of the RTL simulation will match the output of gate-level netlist simulation after synthesis. But that is not typically the case. Besides the obvious things verified in your gate-level simulations, there are always unknown values (Xs). Some will not be seen in the RTL due to X-optimism, but there will be additional Xs in the gate-level simulations due to X-pessimism.

X-optimism in RTL and other generic issues around unknown states are discussed in more detail in the paper ‘X-Propagation Woes – A Condensed Primer‘. Some basic familiarity with the concept is assumed here.

This paper focuses on X-pessimism at the netlist level. It discusses some current techniques and their limitations, and then describes a more efficient X-pessimism strategy based on Real Intent’s Ascent XV.

Mark Gilbert: White coat, White hat, Big fish
June 30, 2016  by Peggy Aycinena


Exuberance and Optimism:
the only two words required to describe EDA-Careers’ Mark Gilbert – even after 20 years in the trenches sorting out the who what and where of just about everybody in the EDA industry. Yes, he self-identifies as the fun guy in the white suit, seen hither and yon wherever the EDA Nation chooses to confab, but in reality he’s the good guy in the white hat who’s going to tell it to you straight, about your career and your goals.

Also by his own description, Mark Gilbert is “the big fish in a little pond” who serves as the leading head hunter and career counselor extraordinaire of EDA.

I was lucky enough to speak with Gilbert by phone this week. As he and I were both on the East Coast, coordinating the hour of the call was easy. Our conversation started with the usual query: How did you get started in this business?

miles-copelandI had just learned this week that my mentor into the world of EDA, Dr. Miles Copeland had passed away recently.

At Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, Copeland was the former chair of the Department of Electronics and Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Engineering and Design. He was an IEEE Fellow and was known for his passion for teaching and research innovation.

In addition to educating two and a half generations of electrical engineers, Copeland had established Carleton’s research capacity in the area of analog and radio frequency integrated circuit design, including the development of computing techniques to enable and reinforce research and learning.

The focus on computing techniques was how I came to work with Copeland.

Opening a TrekBox for Your Birthday
June 29, 2016  by Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing

Over the more than three years of posts here on The Breker Trekker blog, you’ve seen us reference our TrekBox runtime component on many occasions. We mention it in many contexts: test case visualization, memory usage visualization, test case status, test case debugging, system-level coverage, performance analysis, I/O interfacing, UVM testbench control, and more. We’ve never had a post on TrekBox itself, so today we rectify that and fill in a few details that we haven’t discussed before.

Some of you are familiar with the term “trickbox” in the context of a simulation testbench. We found a nice concise definition of this term in an ARM patent: “Memory mapped (behavioral) test bench component to facilitate verification.” By writing to designated memory addresses, the processors in the design being verified can send messages to the testbench for various actions. Our TrekBox is of course a play on the “trickbox” name, and it provides many presents inside for those who open it.

DownStream: Solutions for Post Processing PCB Designs
Verific: SystemVerilog & VHDL Parsers
Real Intent Job

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