System-Level Design Roundtable from DAC 2013 Ed Sperling, part III
The Future Of Verification. How verification is changing; validation vs. verification; the limits of divide and conquer; the impact of stacked die; questions about whether the lines are blurring between board and die; permanent employment for verification experts.
Nov 11, 2013

Start Verification Early To Avoid Pitfalls Later
It is well understood – at least from a theoretical point of view – that design verification should start as early as possible. The reality is that that doesn’t always happen for a variety of reasons such as enormous time to market pressure, too many new features to add, lack of foresight and discipline among other things. But progress is being made.
Oct 24, 2013

Experts At The Table: Debug – Part II
What are the big issues with debug? Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Galen Blake, senior verification engineer at Altera; Warren Stapleton, senior fellow at Advanced Micro Devices; Stephen Bailey, director of solutions marketing at Mentor Graphics; Michael Sanie, senior director of verification marketing at Synopsys. What follows are excerpts of that conversation.
Oct 24, 2013

System-Level Design Roundtable from DAC 2013 Ed Sperling, part I
The Future Of Verification. Raising the abstraction level and the effect on verification time; productivity measurements; the need to start verification earlier; concurrent issues; talk about a productivity gap resurfaces.
Oct 24, 2013

Experts At The Table: Debug – Part I
First of three parts: Multi-contextual debugging; IP Integration issues and who to call when you got a problem; why it’s taking more time to debug; limitations of tools; attitudes of IP development teams to customer issues.
Sep 26, 2013

Debugging Verification Constraints
Designs now can have 50-100K lines of constraints which leads to performance issues. The constraint solver under the hood of Synopsys's verification environment has been improved and that has sped things up, sometimes by as much as 25 times but more often just a factor of 2.
Jul 23, 2013

Facing the Verification Management Challenge
The integration of multicore CPUs, graphics coprocessors, modems, multimedia and networking facilities in the SoCs that power today’s sophisticated smartphones, tablets, computing and networking devices is creating a new verification challenge.
May 23, 2013

Debugging the Debug Challenge
Around 70% of the effort involved in taping out a complex SoC is spent on verification. Of that effort, about half, or 35% of the total effort involved in a chip design, is spent on debug.
Apr 04, 2013

In Compliance We Trust, for Integration We Verify
So, you dropped that piece of complex IP you just licensed into a SoC design, and now it is time to fire up the simulator. How do you verify that it actually works in your design? If you didn’t get verification IP (VIP) with the functional IP, it might be a really long day.
Mar 26, 2013

Using VIP for Cache Coherency Hardware Implementations
For multi-core SoCs, engineers have typically implemented cache coherency protocols in software. The shift to higher-performance, lower-power designs has led to an increasing preference for hardware implementations.
Feb 05, 2013

Verification IP: The Questions You Should Ask
Drop-in verification IP is a mythical creature: Unlike design IP, VIP users don’t have the luxury of ‘drag and drop’ implementations that require relatively little protocol expertise on the user’s part. Verification engineers need protocol knowledge to check that coverage is complete, properly interpret results and debug unexpected behavior.
Jan 24, 2013

Verdi: No Requiem for Openness
Verdi is probably the industry's most widely used debug system, widely used in verification groups. Historically it has been a very open system, not restricted to any one verification environment.
Jan 22, 2013

The Industry Needs to Invest More in Debug
For the past few years, nearly all surveys have identified design debug as one the toughest challenges faced by system-on-chip (SoC) developers. According to data collected by Synopsys from leading SoC, processor, graphics and networking designs, 35 percent of the engineering time and effort for a project typically is spent on debug.
Sep 18, 2012

Managing coverage grading in complex multicore microprocessor environments
In order to deliver ever increasing performance at bounded clock frequencies, processor vendors have turned to multicore designs that allow many programs to execute in parallel on a single chip. Verification of a multicore design is substantially more complex than a single core design because access to shared resources, such as the memory and I/O subsystems, requires arbitration and coherency. Not only general purpose processors, but embedded and application-specific processors such as graphics processing units (GPU), must be verified using large regression suites.
Jan 19, 2011

Solving Modern Verification Challenges for Today’s Industry Leaders
Chip complexity is driving verification requirements. As process nodes continue to shrink and complexity grows, the dominant problem faced by engineering teams lies not in actually creating new designs, but in creating them correctly, on time, while managing risk.
Nov 05, 2010

Generating AMD microcode stimuli using VCS constraint solver
In this article, we explore using a hierarchical constrained-random approach to accelerate generation and reduce memory consumption, while providing optimal distribution and biasing to hit corner cases using the Synopsys VCS constraint solver. We present and analyze the method and discuss its effectiveness in today’s verification environment.
Jul 14, 2010

Attacking Constraint Complexity: E Soft and SystemVerilog Default Constraints
This two-part article series looks at a scalable constraint methodology and provides an overview of some of the key constraint optimization challenges and strategies of concern to verification engineers. Part 2 of this article series focuses on explores the similarities and differences, including subtle semantic differences, between E Soft Constraints and OpenVera Default constraints in the interest of optimizing constraint performance and speeding validation.
Mar 09, 2010

Attacking Constraint Complexity: Verification IP Reuse
This two-part article series looks at a scalable constraint methodology and provides an overview of some of the key constraint optimization challenges and strategies of concern to verification engineers. Part 1 of this article series focuses on verification IP reuse—detailing how a solver typically interprets constraints and providing a case study focused on a constraint-driven performance optimization strategy with respect to the flexible packet parser of a hypothetical networking ASIC.
Mar 02, 2010

Formal verification with constraints: It doesn't have to be like tightrope walking
The relentless increase in the number of transistors integrated on a single chip continues to take its toll on verification teams. Market pressures squeeze product development times, leaving little room for error.
Feb 02, 2010

VCS Enables Efficient Constraint Solving and Debugging of SoC Design
Yassine Even Amine, Applications Consultant at Synopsys, explains the considerations for a functional verification approach to debugging complex SoCs.
Oct 13, 2009

Combining Formal Verification With Simulation: You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!
With ever-increasing design complexity and the desire to verify a design as exhaustively as possible, chip designers are increasingly interested in adopting formal verification methodologies.
Sep 08, 2009

SystemVerilog and VMM Overcome WiMAX Verification Challenges
SystemVerilog and VMM-based environment help achieve first pass silicon success by performing smarter verification quicker.
Aug 05, 2009

Chip-verification and -design flow focuses on low power
The latest generation of Synopsys’ Discovery verification platform upgrades the offering with new multicore simulation technologies, native design checks and low- power verification capabilities.
May 01, 2009

Synopsys Introduces Discovery 2009
Platform Encompasses New Multicore Simulation Performance, Native Design Checks, Comprehensive Low Power Verification Capabilities, and CustomSim Unified Circuit Simulation Solution.
Apr 06, 2009

NewsArticlesBlogsSuccess StoriesWhite PapersWebinarsVideosTraining Courses