Rethinking SoC Verification

Enabling next-generation productivity and performance.

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The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 represented a fundamental shift in electronic system design: moving advanced processing power off of the desktop and into the hands of users everywhere, always. This shift has led to a revolution in mobile—the expansion into the Internet-of-Things, with wearables, connected automobiles and homes.

This revolution is causing profound technology challenges in the semiconductor industry. Each of these systems has connectivity demands requiring the use of standard protocols such as Bluetooth, USB, LTE, and MIPI. Users’ need for longer battery life requires ultra-low power design on every SoC. Innovation in user interface design is similarly creating challenges for the SoC: touch, temperature, and pressure sensors are now an expectation. Users’ desire for apps on their mobile phones also creates the requirement for software development in tandem with hardware development, so users will be able to access content the moment they purchase a new device. And these multi-use devices must be upgraded every few months to remain competitive in the mobile marketplace.

In response, this is causing a revolution in design—integrating ever-greater system complexity onto a single chip. Today, a leading edge mobile-enabled electronic system is based on a SoC that contains more than a billion gates, at least 10 interface protocols, up to hundreds of IP blocks, power domains and clock domains, and millions of lines of code. This increase in SoC design complexity has created orders of magnitude greater challenges in SoC verification. Not only is there a need for sheer capacity in verification technology, but also
the need to verify vastly more scenarios: Power management, analog components, device-level software, low power structural checks and much more. To read more, click here.