New Uses For Assertions


Assertions have been a staple in formal verification for years. Now they are being examined to see what else they can be used for, and the list is growing. Traditionally, design and verification engineers have used assertions in specific ways. First, there are assertions for formal verification, which are used by designers to show when something is wrong. Those assertions help to pinpoint wh... » read more

How UVM Callbacks Simplify Assertion Validation


By Akshay Sarup and Mark Olen Assertions bring immediate benefits to the whole design and verification cycle; thus any challenges engineers face in coding and testing them are worth resolving. When a large number of assertions are to be validated, callbacks save time by eliminating the need to code a new sequence for each scenario. Callbacks also provide more dynamic and fine-grained cont... » read more

The Seven Steps Of Formal Signoff


“Signoff” may be the most exciting—and frightening—word in semiconductor development. After many months, or even years of team effort, committing a design to silicon fabrication is indeed an exciting and rewarding event. But, there’s often significant anxiety involved as well – if any missed issues result in having to “turn” the chip, the increased costs and time-to-market delay... » read more

Portable Stimulus And Digital Twins


It has been a year since Accellera's Portable Test and Stimulus Specification became a standard. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the impact it has had, and the future direction of it, with  Larry Melling, product management director for Cadence; Tom Fitzpatrick, strategic verification architect for Mentor, a Siemens Business; Tom Anderson, technical marketing consultant for OneSp... » read more

Chip Security Needs A New Language


By Sven Beyer and Sergio Marchese Safety- and security-critical systems, such as connected autonomous vehicles, require high-integrity integrated circuits (ICs). Functional correctness and safety are necessary to establish IC integrity, but not sufficient. Security is another critical pillar of IC integrity. Systems and products using ICs with security vulnerabilities ultimately undermine th... » read more

A Holistic View Of RISC-V Verification


Last month, we discussed the growth of the RISC-V open processor ecosystem, the two main organizations driving it, and the role that OneSpin plays. In addition, we have become very active in the RISC-V community and have more than a dozen technical articles published, conference talks presented, and upcoming talks accepted. We tend to focus on the challenges of verifying RISC-V IP cores and sys... » read more

How To Optimize Verification


The rate of improvement in verification tools and methodologies has been nothing short of staggering, but that has created new kinds of problems for verification teams. Over the past 20 years, verification has transformed from a single language (Verilog) and tool (simulator) to utilizing many languages (testbench languages, assertion languages, coverage languages, constraint languages), many... » read more

Shift-Left Low Power Verification With UPF Information Model


By Himanshu Bhatt, Shreedhar Ramachandra and Narayanan Ganesan Low power testbenches today have no visibility of the UPF objects and their states during a low power simulation. This has been one of the factors limiting the users from writing re-usable low power testbenches that can monitor the UPF objects and react to the state changes of UPF objects. To meet this requirement for the user to... » read more

Mitigating Risk Through Verification


Verification is all about mitigating risk, and one of the growing issues alongside of increasing complexity and new architectures is coverage. The whole notion of coverage is making sure a chip will work as designed. That requires determining the effectiveness of the simulation tests that stimulate it, and its effectiveness in terms of activating structures of functional behavior and design.... » read more

Formal Signoff


Xiaolin Chen, senior AE at Synopsys, looks at what’s good enough coverage, what makes one assertion better than another, and where the potential holes are in verification. https://youtu.be/nBtKE0gDHBU » read more

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