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

Better Code With RTL Linting And CDC Verification

Automated design rule checking, or linting, has been around in RTL verification for at least a couple decades, yet still many HDL designers completely ignore this simple yet very powerful bug hunting method. Why would a busy designer need to run this annoying warning generator? The hostility against using conventional linting tools is often explained by the enormous amount of output noise, limi... » read more

Measuring Verification Productivity

By Ann Steffora Mutschler In this era of mammoth SoCs that require the utmost in verification complexity, it’s not enough to have a methodology. Design and verification teams also need to measure their productivity to constantly stay ahead of the curve. The more sophisticated customers are measuring a lot of things, explained Steve Bailey, marketing director at Mentor Graphics, “and for... » read more

Transitioning States

By Ann Steffora Mutschler While the concept of finite state machines is mature, understanding their role in design, the transitions between them and how to verify them are fundamental to managing power in today’s large SoCs. In essence, a finite state machine is a set of inputs and outputs and gate bits that describes the operation of the system. “Transitions happen from one state to... » read more

Techniques For FSM Design And Verification

Large system-on-chip (SoC) designs contain many finite state machines (FSMs) that interact with data paths, memories, and other components. Although FSMs are critical building blocks many designers lack an understanding of their role and impact on design quality and validation effort. FSMs are a source of functional bugs in SoCs. They can cause poor timing, power, and performance. Although v... » read more