Raising SoC Development Productivity With Portable Stimulus


The semiconductor industry has achieved significant productivity increases by virtue of the development, deployment, and scalability of reusable design IP. The EDA industry has also achieved significant productivity increases by virtue of the development, deployment, and scalability of reusable verification IP. A remaining bottleneck in the SoC development process stems from the inability to re... » read more

Is Verification Falling Behind?


Every year that [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] is in effect means that the [getkc id="10" kc_name="verification"] task gets larger and more complex. At one extreme, verification complexity increases at the square of design complexity, but that assumes that every state in the design is usable and unique. On the other hand, verification has not had the luxury that comes with design reuse b... » read more

Big Challenges, Changes For Debug


By Ann Steffora Mutschler & Ed Sperling Debugging a chip always has been difficult, but the problem is getting worse at 7nm and 5nm. The number of corner cases is exploding as complexity rises, and some bugs are not even on anyone's radar until well after devices are already in use by end customers. An estimated 39% of verification engineering time is spent on debugging activities the... » read more

Inside UVM


We have all been witnesses to the rapid improvements of the iPhone processor chip every year. With the iPhone 8 featuring the newest A11 Bionic at 10 nm FinFET with 4.3 billion transistors, I can’t personally fathom the amount of the verification effort needed for this type of SoC - the required manpower and time to get the job done is absolutely mind-boggling. Thankfully, we have several pre... » read more

High Performance, Low Power, And Test: DFT’s Impact On System PPA And Safety


Back in the day, test was an afterthought in system design and implementation. It was a separate task that could be added to the end of a project schedule—essentially, a checkbox before sending a design for manufacture or during product qualification. Nowadays, test is no longer an afterthought, and we’ll see it continue to grow in importance. Safety-critical semiconductor applications h... » read more

System Coverage Undefined


When is a design ready to be taped out? That has been one of the toughest questions to confront every design team, and it's the one verification engineers lose sleep over. Exhaustive [getkc id="56" kc_name="coverage"] has not been possible since the 1980s. Several metrics and methodologies have been defined to help answer the question and to raise confidence that important aspects of a block... » read more

Tech Talk: eFPGA Test


Volkan Oktem, director of product applications at Achronix, explains how to design a test approach for embedded FPGAs, including how to plan for sufficient coverage and how much it will cost. https://youtu.be/aGXd8QH-BfY   Related Stories Tech Talk: EFPGA Acceleration When and why to use embedded FPGAs. » read more

Portable Stimulus Status Report


The first release of the Portable Stimulus (PS) standard is slated for early next year. If it lives up to its promise, it could be the first new language and abstraction for verification in two decades. [getentity id="22028" e_name="Accellera"] uncorked the PS Early Adopter release at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) in June. The standard has been more than two years in the making by t... » read more

When Is Verification Complete?


Deciding when verification is done is becoming a much more difficult decision, prompting verification teams to increasingly rely on metrics rather than just the tests listed in the verification plan. This trend has been underway for the past couple of process nodes, but it takes time to spot trends and determine whether they are real or just aberrations. The Wilson Research Group conducts a ... » read more

Verification Unification


Semiconductor Engineering brought together industry luminaries to initiate the discussion about the role that formal technologies will play with Portable Stimulus and how it may help to bring the two execution technologies closer together. Participating in this roundtable are Joe Hupcey, verification product technologist for [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor, a Siemens Business"]; Tom Fitzpa... » read more

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