Verification’s Inflection Point


Functional verification is nearing an inflection point, brought on by rising complexity and the many tentacles that are intermixing it with other disciplines. New abstractions or different ways to approach the problems are needed. Being a verification engineer is no longer enough, except for those whose concerns is block-level verification. Most of the time and effort spent in verification i... » read more

RISC-V Verification Challenges Spread


The RISC-V ecosystem is struggling to keep pace with rapid innovation and customization, which is increasing the amount of verification work required for each design and spreading that work out across more engineers at more companies. The historical assumption is that verification represents 60% to 80% or more of SoC project effort in terms of cost and time for a mature, mainstream processor... » read more

Multicore Debug Evolves To The System-Level


The proliferation and expansion of multicore architectures is making debug much more difficult and time-consuming, which in turn is increasing demand for more comprehensive system-level tools and approaches. Multicore/multiprocessor designs are the most complex devices to debug. More interactions and interdependencies between cores mean more things possibly can go wrong. In fact, so many pro... » read more

Forward And Backward Compatibility In IC Designs


Future-proofing of designs is becoming more difficult due to the accelerating pace of innovation in architectures, end markets, and technologies such as AI and machine learning. Traditional approaches for maintaining market share and analyzing what should be in the next rev of a product are falling by the wayside. They are being replaced by best-guesses about market trends and a need to bala... » read more

Verification Convergence: Problem Definition


A while ago, I had to go to the ER with my friend who suddenly had a numb feeling in his face. He felt okay (and everything else is okay with him), but better be safe than sorry. While the doctor examined him I noticed that before tracing the problem itself, she asked some questions to rule-out a problem she was already familiar with and that can manifest itself in similar ways. Only then, a... » read more

Using AI And Bugs To Find Other Bugs


Debug is starting to be rethought and retooled as chips become more complex and more tightly integrated into packages or other systems, particularly in safety- and mission-critical applications where life expectancy is significantly longer. Today, the predominant bug-finding approaches use the ubiquitous constrained random/coverage driven verification technology, or formal verification techn... » read more

Brute-Force Analysis Not Keeping Up With IC Complexity


Much of the current design and verification flow was built on brute force analysis, a simple and direct approach. But that approach rarely scales, and as designs become larger and the number of interdependencies increases, ensuring the design always operates within spec is becoming a monumental task. Unless design teams want to keep adding increasing amounts of margin, they have to locate th... » read more

Speeding Up AI With Vector Instructions


A search is underway across the industry to find the best way to speed up machine learning applications, and optimizing hardware for vector instructions is gaining traction as a key element in that effort. Vector instructions are a class of instructions that enable parallel processing of data sets. An entire array of integers or floating point numbers is processed in a single operation, elim... » read more

Using Verification Data More Effectively


Verification is producing so much data from complex designs that engineering teams need to decide what to keep, how long to keep it, and what they can learn from that data for future projects. Files range from hundreds of megabytes to hundreds of gigabytes, depending on the type of verification task, but the real value may not be obvious unless AI/machine learning algorithms are applied to a... » read more

I’m Almost Done


The city of Belgrade is renovating the street where I live. They are also building a new building next to mine so that I can see the construction work from my balcony. Last week, they blocked the street for some 20 minutes, and people got out of their cars and waited outside for the road to open. The construction workers were not in a hurry, and it seemed like everyone was ok with that, so I... » read more

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