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Modeling Chips From Atoms To Systems


Complexity in hardware design is spilling over to other disciplines, including software, manufacturing, and new materials, creating issues for how to model more data at multiple abstraction levels. Challenges are growing around which abstraction level to use for a particular stage of the design, when to use it, and which data to include. Those decisions are becoming more difficult at each ne... » read more

A Price To Be Paid


Ancient wisdom says you should be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it. This was certainly true many times during my career within EDA, and I am sure it is still happening today. Sometimes the outcome was not what was wanted, or the price was higher than expected. As an example, consider VHDL, the language that was meant to correct the problems of Verilog. One of the probl... » read more

Find Bugs Early: On-The-Fly Code Correction For Design And Verification Productivity


The key rule for chip design and verification is that bugs must be found and fixed as early in the development process as possible. It is often said that catching a bug at each successive project stage multiplies the cost by ten. Bugs that escape verification and make their way to silicon are very expensive and time-consuming to fix. The ideal is to catch as many types of issues as possible as ... » read more

SystemVerilog Constraints


This paper looks at two of the most common issues when constraint solver results do not match your intent: Not understanding how Verilog expression evaluation rules apply to interpret the rules of basic algebra and not understanding the affect probability has on choosing solution values. Coding recommendations for improving your code to get better results are provided. To read more, click here. » read more

Confusion Persists In Verification Terms


I find it amazing that an area of technology that attempts to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a design will work before it is constructed can be so bad at getting some basic things right. I am talking about verification terminology. I have been in this industry for over 40 years and it is not improving. In fact, it is getting worse. The number of calls I have with people where they hav... » read more

Open-Source Verification


Ask different people what open-source verification means and you will get a host of different answers. They range from the verification of open-source hardware, to providing an open-source verification infrastructure, to providing open-source stream generators or reference models, to open-source simulators and formal verification engines. Verification is about reducing risk. "Verification is... » read more

Formal Verification Of Floating-Point Hardware With Assertion-Based VIP


Hardware for integer or fixed-point arithmetic is relatively simple to design, at least at the register-transfer level. If the range of values and precision that can be represented with these formats is not sufficient for the target application, floating-point hardware might be required. Unfortunately, floating-point units are complex to design, and notoriously challenging to verify. Since the ... » 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

Complete Formal Verification of RISC V Processor IPs for Trojan-Free Trusted ICs


RISC-V processor IPs are increasingly being integrated into system-on-chip designs for a variety of applications. However, there is still a lack of dedicated functional verification solutions supporting high-integrity, trusted integrated circuits. This paper examines an efficient, novel, formal-based RISC-V processor verification methodology. The RISC-V ISA is formalized in a set of Operational... » read more

ASIC/IC Trends With A Focus On Factors Of Silicon Success


“The more you know, the more you know you don't know.” ― Aristotle, 4th C. BC When Aristotle uttered this humble aphorism, he wasn’t telling us to throw up our hands and not bother with learning. He was encouraging us to continue digging deeper, to get answers and ask questions of those answers — that the thrills and rewards of study are truly without end. This is a big part of ou... » read more

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