Coverage Analysis in Questa Visualizer

Coverage Analysis in Questa Visualizer
by Bernard Murphy on 08-10-2022 at 6:00 am

Questa coverage

Coverage analysis is how you answer the question “have I tested enough?” You need some way to quantify the completeness of our testing; coverage is how you do that. Right out of the gate this is a bit deceptive. To truly cover a design our tests would need to cover every accessible state and state transition. The complexity of that task… Read More


NoC-Based SoC Design. A Sondrel Perspective

NoC-Based SoC Design. A Sondrel Perspective
by Bernard Murphy on 08-03-2022 at 6:00 am

NoC optimization min

Why are NoCs important in modern SoCs and what are best design practices for using NoC? As always, a great place to start is the perspective of an SoC design organization which depends on pumping out high performance designs. Sondrel is a turnkey ASIC service provider, covering the spectrum from system design to silicon supply. … Read More


Formal at System Level. Innovation in Verification

Formal at System Level. Innovation in Verification
by Bernard Murphy on 07-27-2022 at 6:00 am

Innovation New

Formal verification at the SoC level has long seemed an unapproachable requirement. Maybe we should change our approach. Could formal be practical on a suitable abstraction of the SoC? Paul Cunningham (GM, Verification at Cadence), Raúl Camposano (Silicon Catalyst, entrepreneur, former Synopsys CTO and now Silvaco CTO) and… Read More


DSPs in Radar Imaging. The Other Compute Platform

DSPs in Radar Imaging. The Other Compute Platform
by Bernard Murphy on 07-20-2022 at 6:00 am

Radar Trends

In the flood of CPU and GPU announcements in pursuit of new technology advances, it is easy to lose track of another kind of platform – DSPs. Digital signal processors, once a niche platform for specialized applications, are now front and center in some of the hottest technologies. Because their strength in signal processing has… Read More


Arm Aims at Mobile Gaming

Arm Aims at Mobile Gaming
by Bernard Murphy on 07-14-2022 at 6:00 am

ARM gaming min

Clearly unfazed by the collapse of the proposed merger with Nvidia, Arm just announced products in support of, what else, mobile gaming. Nvidia turf. Of course Nvidia’s gaming strength is in tethered platforms or laptops. However, understand that 50% of video gaming revenue in 2020 came from smartphone games and that growth is… Read More


Intelligently Optimizing Constrained Random

Intelligently Optimizing Constrained Random
by Bernard Murphy on 07-12-2022 at 6:00 am

Potential coverage problems min

“Who guards the guardians?” This is a question from Roman times which occurred to me as relevant to this topic. We use constrained random to get better coverage in simulation. But what ensures that our constrained random testbenches are not wanting, maybe over constrained or deficient in other ways? If we are improving with a faulty… Read More


CXL Verification. A Siemens EDA Perspective

CXL Verification. A Siemens EDA Perspective
by Bernard Murphy on 07-07-2022 at 6:00 am

CXL Verification

Amid the alphabet soup of inter-die/chip coherent access protocols, CXL is gaining a lot of traction. Originally proposed by Intel for cross-board and cross-backplane connectivity to accelerators of various types (GPU, AI, warm storage, etc.), a who’s who of systems and chip companies now sits on the board, joined by an equally… Read More


Accellera Update: CDC, Safety and AMS

Accellera Update: CDC, Safety and AMS
by Bernard Murphy on 07-06-2022 at 6:00 am

logo accellera min

I recently had an update from Lu Dai, Chairman of Accellera, also Sr. Director of Engineering at Qualcomm. He’s always a pleasure to talk to, in this instance giving me a capsule summary of status in 3 areas that interested me: CDC, Functional Safety and AMS. I will start with CDC, a new proposed working group in Accellera. To manage… Read More


5G for IoT Gets Closer

5G for IoT Gets Closer
by Bernard Murphy on 07-05-2022 at 6:00 am

5G for IoT

Very recently, 3GPP announced that 5G Release 17 was finalized. One important consequence is that 5G RedCap (reduced capacity) is now real and that means 5G becomes accessible to IoT devices. Think smart wearables (e.g. watches), industrial sensors and surveillance devices. “So what?”, you protest. “I don’t need 5G on my watch.… Read More


Stalling to Uncover Timing Bugs. Innovation in Verification

Stalling to Uncover Timing Bugs. Innovation in Verification
by Bernard Murphy on 06-29-2022 at 6:00 am

Innovation New

Artificially stalling datapaths and virtual channels is a creative method to uncover corner case timing bugs. A paper from Nvidia describes a refinement to this technique. Paul Cunningham (GM, Verification at Cadence), Raúl Camposano (Silicon Catalyst, entrepreneur, former Synopsys CTO and now Silvaco CTO) and I continue… Read More