Simplifying SystemVerilog Functional Coverage


Let’s say you have a block you need to verify. How do you know that the stimulus you are about to use is exhaustive enough and that you have covered the necessary scenarios/situations to prove it is working correctly? This is where functional coverage comes in. SystemVerilog’s functional coverage constructs allow you to quantify the completeness of your stimulus by recording the values that... » read more

Inside UVM, Take Two


In this blog, my major focus is on explaining the concepts such as Sequence, Sequencer, Driver and showing how the communication takes place from sequence to sequencer and from sequencer to driver. In the previous blog, I included a top-level diagram of the UVM structure, showing different base classes. So, let’s look at the main concepts and follow the communication mechanism they use for... » read more

Analyzing Data Differently


Data analysis is often a very time consuming process for a hardware design or verification engineer. We always end up using the waveform viewer which may not be very efficient in giving us a high-level overview of what we’re looking for. Data that is spread across a long simulation cycle is very hard to visualize on the waveform. Whenever I have to analyze a huge chunk of data, I always wonde... » read more

Partitioning With Ease


Modern ASIC and SoC designs have increased in complexity such that multiple FPGAs of the largest capacity are now required to prototype the entire functionality of the design. As design sizes increase, more and more FPGAs are required. The capacity and pin limitations of FPGAs create constraints for how the ASIC/SoC design can be mapped into the FPGAs. Aldec’s HES-DVM's prototyping mode accou... » read more

Using FPGAs For Emulation


For many years, emulators were available only to verification teams working on the largest projects in companies with deep enough pockets. Due to size rather than capabilities they were called “Big Box” emulators and typically were used in order to recover some of the time lost on RTL simulation. Meanwhile, FPGA technology has been available long enough to mature to the point where FPGA bas... » 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

Finite State Machine Synthesis In Programmable Circuits


Well, summer has been and gone; and for most of us it was a time to relax and reflect on our working practices. What can we do to achieve better results? And what can we do to break out of the routine of working on so many revisions? For me, one of my summer break ponderings was thinking back on a trick I learned while working with my colleagues at the Silesian University of Technology. C... » read more

Traceability Matrices: Headache Or Real Value?


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 ve... » read more

Improving VHDL


For the past several years, I have had the privilege to chair the IEEE 1076 VHDL working group. In March, we handed off the revisions to the VHDL LRM to our technical editor to finalize the document for balloting. As we are waiting for the standards process to finish up, I thought I would share my favorite new additions. Let me start with an executive summary: VHDL-2017 plus Open Source VHDL... » read more

Cutting CapEx, Not Capacity


‘The cloud’ has been an industry buzz word for some time now, and while the initial focus was on data storage and sharing - and spawned the likes of Dropbox – ‘cloud computing’ is currently the latest trend. For instance, Amazon’s cloud platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), gives users access to servers and a range of applications. Storage is available as before but so too now are... » read more

← Older posts