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Archive for the ‘Requirements Management’ Category

Don’t be a Slave to the Documentation

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Are you a requirements engineer but your main goal is to provide well organized documentation? Do you have a great knowledge about the industry, business analysis and systems but you are struggling with the shape and look of your documentation? Do you still hear, for instance, that the specification document is not easy to read and difficult to use?

 

Requirements first

Requirements are the starting point of all other activities in a project lifecycle. So the specification document is crucial for the project. The document has many audiences such us stakeholders, designers, verification engineers and other groups involved in the project. This forces the author of the document to take care of the structure and organization of the document. It is not a big deal to prepare such a document. The problem is that the document has to be modified many times. The requirements are constantly changing, with new features appearing, some being modified and some being removed. Reclassification and reorganization must be repeated many times. In which case, I am pretty sure you will be contending with issues such as auto numbering, indentation, paragraph styles as well as tables and drawings that just do not fit the page.

Another kind of trouble comes from collaboration. Requirements should be developed by more than one engineer but working together on the same document is really a challenge. Forgetting to enable Track Changes, using the wrong version of a document or even using different version of Office tools are the most common collaboration issues.

Finally, there may be a situation in which you focus on a document’s structure and aesthetics more than its content. In the end your document may be well prepared but there is a serious risk that the requirements will be ambiguous, incomplete and/or inconsistent. This can happen when huge amounts of energy are spent solely on keeping the document organized and current. For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

Traceability Matrices: Headache or Real Value

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Traceability is becoming increasingly important in most engineering projects, if only on the grounds of ‘good practice’, and it is specifically required for projects that have to meet safety standards such as DO-254 and ISO 26262.

To provide traceability, you must maintain the relationships between all aspects of a project; from the system-level requirements through implementation and verification. Unfortunately, many organizations reduce their traceability responsibilities to preparing a few matrices for major reviews and to comply with respective safety standards. Such an approach is very time-consuming and I would argue it does little if anything to improve the overall management of the project. Or the design for that matter.

Good traceability data helps prevent errors and omissions in specifications, design and test plans. The first step is to define a traceability model.

Figure 1. Example Traceability Model

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Aldec Springs Into Action: A look back at a busy show season

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Aldec at DVConIt’s been a busy season for Aldec. The weather has warmed here in the desert and as the trees and greenery enliven in spring, Aldec has also been bursting with activity. From DVCon to the International Symposium on FPGAs in the US to Embedded World and CTIC in Europe, there have been some exciting developments from Aldec in verification, embedded systems, and DO-254.

These major events and conferences have been a great time to provide some updates on the latest Aldec endeavors and to provide an in-person look at the capability of our tools.

The DVCon U.S. Conference and Exhibition held in San Jose, California, holds a special place in my heart because it was the first industry conference I attended after starting my career in EDA. Every year I enjoy returning in order to see the latest verification advancements and to speak with those who are hard at work trying to improve verification efforts. Portable stimulus was a hot topic and it seemed like emulation was growing in popularity. This year we brought our Hardware Emulation Solutions (HES™) so that people could get an in-person look at our hardware. We showed off the speed benefits of emulation over traditional simulation by hooking up a UVM testbench to an in-house network-on-chip design running in our FPGA boards. As design sizes increase, I think emulation will become a more widely adopted solution to the simulation bottleneck.

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Vegetarian Dining in Austin – DAC 2016

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Aldec-DAC-Vegetarian-Dining-GuideI moved to Austin a little over a year ago, and have quickly learned that this city is a progressive blue island in a sea of red. That’s the conventional wisdom, and most of the time it holds up.

 

But there’s one area where this Texas city feels right at home in the rest of the Lone Star State, and that’s the cuisine. Go into the almost any trendy restaurant, and it’s possible to order a meal that has bacon in everything.  Whether it’s the Paleo influence, or the craft food movement, or a remnant of good old Southern cooking, there are a lot of meaty options.

 

That’s great, you say, except I don’t care how ethically sourced the pork is. Dude, I’m a vegetarian.

 

Never fear. If you plan to visit our fair city for our industry’s upcoming Design Automation Conference (DAC 2016), rest assured you can find great vegetarian dining options in and around downtown Austin. And while UBER may have left Austin, you can still walk or catch a cab from your hotel or the Convention Center to visit these great restaurants (scroll down for map).

 

Mainstream Options: You’re a Vegetarian, But the Rest of Your Party Wants Meat

 

dac 2016A. The Flagship Whole Foods, one mile west of downtown Austin, is a great place for a working lunch. I know, you’re thinking, You want me to eat at a grocery store? This is not just any grocery store, my friend. It is a food bazaar that will absolutely blow you away. Rows of tempting salad bars allow you to compose your own meal, but there are also vegan and vegetarian options at just about every food counter and a pleasant roof-top terrace where you can enjoy your food. Whole Foods Market. 525 North Lamar, Austin, Texas. 512.542.2200. $

 

B. 24 Diner, like many Austin restaurants, was featured on the Food Network, with the result that this trendy spot can be mobbed. Its allure is comforting food served all night long, with plenty of vegetarian options, like veggie hash, mushroom and veggie burgers, and a variety of tempting salads. 24 Diner. 600 Lamar. 512.472.5400. $$

 

C. I love the intimacy of Koriente, a Korean health food restaurant with garden dining tucked into a little warren of shops and restaurants at the east end of Sixth Street, right before you hit the I 35 overpass. It was founded by a mom who hated to cook and wanted to make a place where other moms could bring their families for nourishing, healthy, delicious food. Most of the entrees are vegetable based; for a couple extra bucks, add meat and eggs to the mix. But you might want to walk over from your hotel. Parking is at a minimum here. Koriente. 621 East 7th. 512.275.0852. $

 

D. The Blue Dahlia Bistro is right across the highway in the heart of East Austin, still walking distance from downtown. The restaurant’s promise is that you can “relax and feel like you are in the European countryside.” That might be a tiny stretch, but I have to admit — they do have a truly cozy and inviting outdoor space. They serve yummy French-inspired dishes and have a good selection of vegetarian options, including an all-day breakfast menu. The Blue Dahlia.1115 East 11th Street. 512.542.9542. $

 

Hardcore and Retro: You Won’t Find Meat on Any of These Plates

 

E. If you’re looking for a glimpse of the Austin of Slackerfame, venture a few miles north to the University neighborhood of Hyde Park, where Mother’s Cafe has been dishing up family style vegetarian and vegan cuisine since 1980. The restaurant has spruced up with a recent makeover, but they haven’t really changed their menu. There’s nowhere else in town where you can order Mushroom Stroganoff or BBQ Tofu. Ask to be seated in the Garden Room, an Austin tradition. Mother’s Cafe. 4215 Duval. 512.451.3994. $

 

F. Casa de Luz, located about a half mile from downtown, in the hippest part of East Austin, describes itself as Austin’s “only all-organic dining and community center.” They take good nutrition very seriously here; even the drinking water that serve is filtered to remove fluoride. Each day, they prepare a different menu from scratch, using plant-based foods. That means most of the food they serve is vegan as well. Casa de Luz. 1701 Toomey Road. 512).476.2535. $

 

G. Mr. Natural lets you enjoy Tex-Mex cuisine without worrying that someone is sticking lard in those beans. The East Austin restaurant is 100 percent vegetarian, and the place also includes a juice bar and a bakery that has won several awards, including “Best Tres Leches” from the Austin Chronicle.That is really saying something: the recipe is vegan. Mr. Natural. 1901 Cesar Chavez. 512.477.5228. $

 

H. There aren’t a lot of 100 percent vegan options in the Weird City, but East Austin Counter Culturefits the bill. Whenever possible, the chefs here try to use ethically sourced and organic ingredients, and their menu is a combination of classic vegetarian dishes like Lentil Loaf and Mac and Cheeze (the “cheese” made from cashews) and curiosity-inspiring fare such as the Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich. They also serve gluten-free pizza. Counter Culture.2337 East Cesar Chavez. 512.524.1540.

 

Quick and Trendy Veggie Bites

 

I. You can’t talk about food in Austin without at least a nod to one of the city’s many food trucks. Arlo’s is the place to go downtown for a late night vegan burger or seiten “chicken” patty. You want fries with that? No problem. Arlo’s. 900 Red River. 512.840.1600. $

 

J. And for dessert? Lick Honest Ice Creams offers a variety of “weird” flavors — I love the roasted beet and fresh mint — including some vegan options. The staff lets folks sample as many flavors as they like, so the line might move slowly!, Suite 1135. 512.363.5622. $

 

Well there you have it. You see, if you’re a vegetarian or looking to have a meal with vegetarian colleague or client, Austin has you covered.

 

I hope you’ll find these tips useful. If you have any other questions about our fair city, please stop by and see me at DAC Booth #619. If you’d like to learn more about Aldec’s Scalable Emulation Solutions or ASIC Verification Spectrum, I hope you’ll register for a one-on-one presentation at DAC, or call +1-702-990-4400 or email us at sales@aldec.com.

 

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For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

Aldec Verification Tools Implement the ASIC Verification Flow

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Aldec-Verification-SpectrumAldec has, over the last 30 years, established itself as the preferred provider of high-performance, cost-effective verification tools for use in proving out complex FPGA designs. As the logic capacity and capability of FPGAs have increased, however, the distinction between FPGA and ASIC design has narrowed. A modern FPGA verification flow looks very much like an ASIC verification flow.

Small and large fabless companies alike need a reliable verification partner that suits their budgets while still providing a high level of support. To answer the call, we at Aldec have extended our spectrum of verification tools for use in digital ASIC designs.

A Basic ASIC Verification Flow

Managing verification for ASICs requires a well-defined verification plan.  Efficient verification planning starts with functional and design requirements in which requirements are mapped to verification methods, scenarios, goals and metrics, coverage groups, and results. Mapping entails traceability throughout the project that must be well maintained so that changes in the requirements will seamlessly reflect potential changes downstream to the elements of the verification plan.

While traceability can benefit any design, it is mandatory for safety-critical designs regulated by standards such as ISO-26262 for automotive, IEC-61508 for industrial and DO-254 for avionics.
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Developing high-reliability FPGAs for DO-254

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Developing-FPGAs-for-DO-254You have been developing FPGAs for a long time, and you know your designs from top to bottom. You know every interface protocol, configuration and optimization. You can visualize your timing diagram like you can visualize your upcoming vacation in Hawaii. You can manually write down your memory mapping accurately while under oath. You can pinpoint all CDC paths and emulate metastability in your mind. You are confident that your designs are fault-tolerant and will function as intended. You are the master of your domain.

But… can you bet your life on it?

Are you willing to bet your life on your designs? What about the lives of the thousands of passengers sitting on the airplanes where your FPGA design is installed? How certain are you that it won’t fail in the field? If it were to fail, can it resume normal operation safely and timely? Not just MOST of the time, but EVERY time?

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What inspired you to become an engineer?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

This week, February 22-28, we celebrate National Engineers Week in the US to recognize the contributions to society that engineers make. During this time, there is added emphasis in schools on the importance of learning math, science, and technical skills.

I work with Generation STEAM, a group organized by the SYN Shop MakerSpace and the Henderson district library to create a series of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, [Art], and Math) classes that are free to the public. For my part, I’ve had the privilege of teaching a basic electronics class for kids a few Saturdays this year – and it’s been a blast. Our hope is that we are encouraging a few young people to follow the path of engineering.

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Last call from Engineer Santa. Survey & daily drawings end Dec 12.

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Well folks, last call from Engineer Santa. Aldec’s #12DaysofUsefulGifts giveaway will end this Friday, December 12 at 12pm midnight Pacific Standard Time.[preview_cut]

If you haven’t registered yet, you’ll want to hurry and visit www.aldec.com/survey. There you will take a brief verification survey and be entered to win.

If you’ve been keeping up with us on Twitter and YouTube, you know that we’ve given away some fun prizes already. If you are looking for some practical and useful gift ideas for the holidays, you might want to take a closer look. I’ve already talked about some of these from Days #1-4. We’ve given away more prizes since then and sent them to engineers all over the globe! Here, take a look…

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Spec-TRACER now directly integrated with IBM DOORS

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Spec-TRACER-DOORS-IntegrationIn response to user feedback, Aldec has developed a direct integration between IBM® Rational ® DOORS ® and our requirements management tool, Spec-TRACER™, to enable users to extend the traceability data in DOORS to FPGA design and verification elements.

Aldec has a strong 30-year+ history of asking and listening to the engineering community and we’re proud to say, thanks to your requests, that Spec-TRACER 2014.12 featuring direct integration with DOORS… is now available to test drive.

Below you’ll find an overview of the Spec-TRACER/DOORS tool flow. DOORS remains the main source and environment for managing board requirements and other higher level requirements, while Spec-TRACER remains the main source and environment for managing FPGA requirements, conceptual design data, detailed design data, test cases, test procedures, test results, traceability data and review activities. Spec-TRACER also remains the main source for generating all the pertinent reports for the FPGA project such as requirements documents, verification procedures, test results, impact analysis reports and project status reports.

For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

Looking for Practical Holiday Gift Ideas?

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Happy Holidays! We’ve made it to Day 4 of Aldec’s #12DaysofUsefulGifts giveaway. If you’ve been keeping up with us on Twitter and YouTube, you know that we’ve given away some fun prizes already. But that’s just the beginning, the prizes will get larger each day until the contest ends on December 12th!

If you are looking for some practical and useful gift ideas for the holidays, take a look at some of the fun prizes we’ve already given away.

Day #1day-1_400 Day #2day-2_400
Professional Cleaning Set for DSLR Cameras

Air Vent Mount for Cell Phones

Winner! Jonathan S.

Miles Kimball Manual Hand Held Shredder

Bushnell Falcon 7×35 Binoculars with Case

Winner! Alan S.

Day #3day-3_400 Day #4day-4_400
Magisso Tea Cup

Grillight LED BBQ Spatula

Winner! Daniel H.

Sugru Hardware Sealer

Pocketmonkey Wallet Multi-Tool

Could be you! Enter today at

www.aldec.com/survey

 

To enter Aldec’s #12DaysOfUsefulGifts drawing, visit www.aldec.com/survey. There you will take a brief verification survey and automatically be entered to win. You only need to take the survey once to be eligible for daily drawings from Dec 1st-12th. You can also earn additional chances to win by sharing the contest link and viewing the daily contest video. Follow Aldec on Twitter where we will announce each day’s winner and unveil the next day’s prize. Good luck!

 

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TrueCircuits: IoTPLL



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