Bernard Murphy and I spent time with the SmartDV folks in preparation for the Design Automation Conference later this month. Bernard is an internationally recognized verification expert so his feedback is often sought after by emerging and leading verification companies, absolutely. Verification IP is a crowded market so it is very important to properly articulate the value proposition of your company and products, which is a focus of SemiWiki of course.
It is common practice in verification teams to get your VIP from two or more independent sources. The reasoning is fairly simple: since these VIPs were developed by independent teams in independent companies, they are less likely to make the same assumptions when interpreting ambiguous areas of the specification. As a result, whatever you don’t catch when testing with VIP A you may catch when testing with VIP B and vice-versa. Improved coverage, lower risk of false positives, less risk of IP failure.
If you buy IP from a big supplier or get it free, you likely get VIP as a part of the package; so that’s your first set. You could get the second set from another big supplier but for some of the reasons mentioned above you might want to go a different way. You may also get both sets of big-supplier VIP and still want a third option for at least one of those reasons. So who do you pick? There are a lot of VIP suppliers out there; it can be difficult to decide who stands out. Here’s a fairly obvious way to filter. The vendor should:
- Provide a one-stop shop for all or most of your VIP needs – and one throat to choke if you have problems with the service.
- Have a proven track record with multiple customers and demonstrated membership on all the appropriate standards committees.
- Support multiple verification methodologies – UVM, OVM, Vera, e, SystemC, …
- Support emulation-based and fpga-prototyping-based verification and, if possible, provide support for assertion-based verification for formal.
- Have a local presence near you.
- Be cost-effective.
- And, ideally, support customization. After all, a second set of VIP doesn’t have to be limited to the same capabilities at the first set. Perhaps you can catch more or profile more comprehensively if your supplier is prepared to tweak the VIP.One of the leading VIP companies is SmartDV, based in Bangalore, who some consider the gold standard for VIP by these measures:[LIST=1]
- They cover 150 protocols today, multiple each for MIPI, networking and SoC verification, automotive and serial bus, defense, AMBA protocols, storage and video. They also have models for multiple types of memory/memory interface.
- They have 100+ customers across all major geographies. You’ll have to talk to them to get more information. I suspect they probably have close relationships with companies who also have offices in India. India is an IP hot spot for the semiconductor industry.
- They have a compiler-based approach to generating their VIPs so they can quite easily target multiple methodologies including all the standard list.
- They support a subset of protocol VIPs through transactor interfaces on all the main emulator and FPGA prototyping platforms
- They have a sales office in San Jose, headquarters in Bangalore and distributors in Japan, China, Israel, Taiwan, Korea and Russia.
- You’ll have to talk to them about cost but from what I hear they are very competitive.
- This is an India-based organization so they’re very familiar with service-based engagements. They have a standard flow for this process.When we do these interviews the big question always is: What’s new? The answer from SmartDV is the addition of Design IP and IP creation services. This seems like a natural transition since SmartDV is already a trusted VIP provider, has a very cost competitive business model, and is based in India which is the semiconductor IP capital of the world. According to the 2018 Design IP Report the IP market should hit $6B in 2022 so this addition to the SmartDV business model represents a very big upside if approached properly. This brings us to the SmartDV IP approach, portfolio, and services:Approach:
- IPs based on standard and custom protocol
- Can be used in ASIC and FPGA based system
- Verified using VIPs and test-benches which arelicensed by 100+ companies
- Checked for Lint/ CDC violations, Synthesis, DFT
- Extensive control and status registers
- Package includes RTL code, elaborated data-book,synthesis script
- MIPI RFFE master, slave
- MIPI SPMI master, slave
- MIPI I3C master, slave
- MIPI CSI-2 Tx/ Rx
- MIPI DSI Tx/ Rx
- JESD204B/ JESD204C
- LIN, CAN controller
- PCI master, slave
- SPI/ I2C/ SMBus/ MIPI BIF/ Smartcard slave
- AC97/ MIL STD 1553 controller
- 10/100/1000 MAC controller
- SAE J2716 sensor
- RapidIO Endpoint
- We have around 30+ engineers who havedone multiple design services projects.
- Have designed custom design IP for bigcustomers.
- Customized existing design IP as per customerspecific requirements
- Have in-house protocol knowledge.
- Have robust design flow.
Exhibitor: Below you will find information found for selected exhibitor.
SmartDV™ offers high quality standard and custom protocol Verification IP, Memory Models, Simulation Acceleration (Emulation) IP and Design IP covering MIPI, Networking, Video, Storage, Automotive and processor interfaces. The VIP and Design IP are licensed to over 120 world-wide customers including the industry’s leading semiconductor and system companies. SmartDV also offers ASIC and FPGA design and verification services with an emphasis on quality deliverables. SmartDV VIP are 2-4x faster to compile and simulate compared to our competition. http://www.smart-dv.com