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Four Requirements To Improve Chip Design Debug


Debug has always been a painful and unavoidable part of semiconductor design and, despite many technological advances, it remains one of the dominant tasks in chip development. At one time, most bugs were detected and diagnosed on actual devices in the bring-up lab, where both visibility and controllability are severely limited. It is certainly true that debugging the results from pre-silicon t... » read more

Easing The Burden Of Early Bug Detection


Integrated circuit designers are under constant pressure to deliver bug free code that meets ever more rigorous requirements. It is well known that the more bugs that can be detected early in the development process, the faster and easier that development effort will be. However, early bug detection requires a verification overhead on the designer that can be onerous and impact the design proce... » read more

Beyond Bug Hunting: Verification Coverage From Safety To Certification


Understanding verification coverage is critical for meeting IC integrity standards and goes well beyond detecting bugs in the design. Without proper verification coverage metrics, meeting strict safety standards and certification may not be achievable. Precise metrics indicate where there are gaps in verification and provide a clear view of the progress being made in the verification effort. Co... » read more

Lower Power Chips: What To Watch Out For


Low-power design in advanced nodes and advanced packaging is becoming a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary challenge, where a long list of issues need to be solved both individually and in the context of other issues. With each new leading-edge process node, and with increasingly dense packaging, the potential for problematic interactions is growing. That, in turn, can lead to poor yield, cos... » read more

‘Hug The Debug’ – Before It’s Too Late


Though the term “shift-left” originated in the software industry, its importance is often cited in the hardware (semiconductor) industry where the end-product (chip) costs are skyrocketing. The increase in cost is driven by a global chip shortage, especially in the automotive industry. Manufacturing a robust chip is a long, iterative process that may require many re-spins. Shift-left refers... » read more

Debug: The Schedule Killer


Debug often has been labeled the curse of management and schedules. It is considered unpredictable and often can happen close to the end of the development cycle, or even after – leading to frantic attempts at work-arounds. And the problem is growing. "Historically, about 40% of time is spent in debug, and that aspect is becoming more complex," says Vijay Chobisa, director of product manag... » read more

The Next Generation of Testbench Debug Productivity


It is widely accepted that verification consumes at least sixty percent of time and resources on most semiconductor development projects. This statistic has been borne out by many industry surveys over the last twenty years. Verification technology has had to evolve to accommodate ever larger and more complex designs. Innovations such as constrained-random simulation and the Universal Verificat... » read more

Invent A New Way To Do Your Job


My friends own a farm in the southwest of France, and though I spent most of my recent decades around big cities, my village-raised roots are sending me working in the fields every time I have the time. I don’t really care what I’m assigned to, as long as soil, the nearby forest trees, and the sky (preferably blue) will take part. If the job consists of repeating actions, I like to come up ... » read more

Hardware-Software Co-verification (ARM CPU)


In every complex SoC verification process, it is necessary to activate the CPUs during verification and to check the operation of the software they execute alongside the test’s scenarios. At a minimum, basic scenarios such as “boot rom execution” are tested, but in many cases, further scenarios are required. The CPUs themselves are usually proven IPs, but in order to verify their integrat... » read more

Systematic Methodology To Solve Reset Challenges In Automotive SoCs


Modern automotive SoCs typically contain multiple asynchronous reset signals to ensure systematic functional recovery from unexpected situations and faults. This complex reset architecture leads to a new set of problems such as possible reset domain crossing (RDC) issues. The conventional clock domain and CDC verification methodologies cannot identify such critical bugs. In this paper, we prese... » read more

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