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 Agnisys Automation Review

Archive for January, 2019

Where Tool Ideas Come From – A Case for a Portable Sequence Generator

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

Tools are made to automate a process, perform calculations, minimize errors and improve efficiencies, but at their core, tools are made to solve a given problem. Problems are found as a natural effect of progress. They come from the industry – in some cases from experts, innovators and tool vendors, and often times they come directly from the users or customers. As an EDA tool vendor, we serve highly-intelligent users who know their design and verification problems well as these have become roadblocks in their day to day work. But honestly these problems will not reach the tool vendor if there’s no mutual trust to begin with. I’m not referring to the routine support tickets that are filed, but to the technical problems that openly come up during face-to-face discussions. That’s our case with our portable sequence generator.

A few longtime users of our register generator tool shared with us their need to centralize the creation of sequences. The basic idea is to reuse the successful concept that we have in centralizing the creation of registers from a single spec – this concept has unified the IP, software, firmware, device driver and system integrator teams to work from a single source. Any changes to the register spec would typically only involve re-generation of the RTL, UVM regmodel, UVM testbench, C/C++ headers and documentation from the spec itself using built-in code generators. You don’t have to worry about which design and verification elements are impacted due to the register change, and you don’t have to manually modify a long list of register files to implement the change. Many of our users have found this concept and methodology valuable, so they have asked us to do the same thing for sequences.

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