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Adnan Hamid, CEO of Breker
Adnan Hamid, CEO of Breker
Adnan Hamid is the founder CEO of Breker and the inventor of its core technology. Under his leadership, Breker has come to be a market leader in functional verification technologies for complex systems-on-chips (SoCs), and Portable Stimulus in particular. The Breker expertise in the automation of … More »

Time To Be Heard

 
October 2nd, 2017 by Adnan Hamid, CEO of Breker

Accellera has just extended the review period for the Portable Stimulus Standard. The committee is now seeking comments up until the end of October. Breker would like to join the committee and say how important it is for users to get involved with this standard. While we, as vendors, have some experience in this area, we are not doing this day in and day out. We need your guidance and feedback.

Breker applauds Mark Glasser, principal engineer for NVIDIA, for being a user who is spending the time and effort to understand the emerging Portable Stimulus Standard (PSS). The points he raised in his recent blog are shared by a number of other users in the industry. His passion comes from the fact that he sees the potential of the work that is being undertaken and the impact that it could have on the verification community and the entire system development flow.

Users are, by definition, those in the trenches experiencing the problems and trying to find solutions. Within that community, there are only a few that can see beyond the current design and can look towards the future. Of those, only a precious few can help to influence the direction of the future. If you are one of those, then we ask you to get involved. Sitting on a standards committee can be tough and often dirty work, but there is no better way to guide the future direction of the industry.

We share Mark’s feelings that we should leverage the extensive expertise that exists in the language design community. It has taken many hundreds of man years of effort to get C++ to where it is today and we have seen, during our interactions with users, the power and flexibility that C++ provides to this problem.


The user community has spoken in the past about DSLs. In the early days of adoption of constrained random methodologies, Vera/VMM and e/eRM were the predominant languages/methodologies. Synopsys dropped Vera in favor of SystemVerilog and UVM, while Specman/e went into a decline. While Cadence bought Specman/e, it has continued to go into a decline as shown by the Mentor verification survey.

There are users for which the domain specific language (DSL) may be a better choice, especially those who are more familiar with the SystemVerilog/UVM verification methodology. In the past, the EDA community has leveraged C++ development work. Verilog inherits from C, SystemVerilog classes inherit from C++ classes. The PSS/C++ language inherits from C++. It only makes sense that the PSS/DSL should also inherit from C++. This would make definition of the standard a lot simpler.

As an industry, both input formats have a role to play, but we need to ensure two things. First, that they derive from a common base and second, that we never restrict the user community from doing what is necessary for them to solve their problems. That is what makes for a successful standard and users have already articulated their hopes that Portable Stimulus does not have the extensibility limitations of some previous EDA standards.

The original three month open review period of the Early Adopter Release did not give users enough time for them to evaluate the proposed standard, especially since there are no tools available that enable them to fully test it out. Breker is committed to doing everything it can before then to help the user community understand the proposed standard and how it could be used to solve their problems.

To facilitate that, Breker invites any company, existing customer or not, that is interested in understanding this standard to present to us the problems that they would like to be solvable with PSS. We will sit down with you and show how it would be solved using the emerging standard so that you can provide your feedback to the committee.  Please drop us a line at feedback@brekersystems.com and someone from our team will be in touch with you.

As an end-user of the tools, if you feel that your comments may not be heard, think again. We appreciate that it takes time to dig into these standards, but rest assured that any comments from the user base will be carefully considered and analyzed. It is important for the whole community to get involved and your voice does have an impact! This is your standard. This is your future. This is important. Together we can do this.

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