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

Fibonacci And Honey Bees Have Something In Common: A Sweet Spot For Formal


Time flies and the OneSpin’s Holiday Puzzle tradition has reached its third year. In December 2016, OneSpin challenged engineers everywhere to solve the Einstein riddle using assertions and a formal verification tool. In December 2017, the challenge was to model the hardest Sudoku in the world using assertions and find a solution with a formal tool. In addition, participants had to prove that... » read more

Updated UVM Cookbook Supports IEEE 1800.2 Standard And Emulation


I’m happy to announce that we at Mentor have just released a fully-updated version of our popular UVM Cookbook, which is available online here. Cookbook Overview Diagram The Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) is a standard library of SystemVerilog classes that supports a modular, reusable testbench architecture for constrained-random functional verification. Meanwhile, Mentor’... » read more

Agile Standards


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Lu Dai, chairman for Accellera and senior director of engineering at Qualcomm, to discuss what's changing in standards development. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Accellera has had a great first half of the year. Dai: Yes, we are only half way through the year and yet we got Portable Stimulus Standard (PSS) out, the SystemC CCI ... » read more

Three Steps To Low Power Coverage Closure


By Awashesh Kumar and Madhur Bhargava Low-power design and verification is becoming more complex. Yet it is critical that all power elements are verified, and it is even more important to verify the complex interactions between these elements at a high abstraction level. However, power-aware coverage closure is difficult to attain and complex by nature. Existing low-power coverage methodo... » read more

Commoditizing Constraints


Preparing articles for Semiconductor Engineering involves talking to a lot of people and then trying to fit their statements together in a way that is logical and fair. Sometimes a subject will come up in one of these calls that is not really on topic, but is still interesting. One such incident happened this week while doing research for the Verification 3.0 article. The topic was constrain... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A The ESD Alliance is merging with SEMI, becoming a SEMI Strategic Association Partner. SE Editor In Chief Ed Sperling argues that the merger has broad implications for the chip industry, particularly as smaller nodes require greater collaboration between design and manufacturing. Meanwhile, SEMI president and CEO Ajit Manocha explains why the combining will be of benefit to members of b... » read more

Simplifying SystemVerilog Functional Coverage


Let’s say you have a block you need to verify. How do you know that the stimulus you are about to use is exhaustive enough and that you have covered the necessary scenarios/situations to prove it is working correctly? This is where functional coverage comes in. SystemVerilog’s functional coverage constructs allow you to quantify the completeness of your stimulus by recording the values that... » read more

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