System-on-Chip Integration Complexity And Hardware/Software Contracts

From the earliest days of my career, when designing chips, I have always navigated the interface between hardware and software for semiconductor design in my roles. My initial chip designs included video and audio encoding and decoding, supporting standards like MPEG and H.261. As acceleration parts of hardware/software systems, these had many Control and Status Registers (CSRs) to program. The... » read more

Accessing Registers With UVM-RAL

As a digital design or verification engineer you know that certain features or configurations of the device can be achieved by programming some registers to set values. For example, a 32-bit register can have several fields within it and each field can represent a particular feature that can be configured. The device then reads that register and uses that information to change settings or modes... » read more

Open Standards For Verification?

The increasing use of verification data for analyzing and testing complex designs is raising the stakes for more standardized or interoperable database formats. While interoperability between databases in chip design is not a new idea, it has a renewed sense of urgency. It takes more time and money to verify increasingly complex chips, and more of that data needs to be used earlier in the fl... » read more

It’s All In the Sequence

No project team wants a “Houston, we have a problem,” moment. And yet, they happen all too frequently, even though there could be a tool to avoid that heart-in-mouth situation. The real-life Houston moment, brought dramatically to life in the 1995 movie “Apollo 13,” occurred during what was meant to be the seventh manned mission of the NASA Apollo space program in 1970. It didn’t m... » read more

Making Way For Register Specification Software

No one gives much thought to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning registers in the house –– typically, two in each room, one for supply, the other for return. That is, until the lever in each needs to be manually adjusted to modulate the temperature to be hotter or colder, or the seasons change and the filters with them. Alas, registers in hardware design seem to have gotten the... » read more