When promoting adoption of formal methods in functional verification, there are two hurdles to overcome: one technical, the other people. The first is a comfortable and familiar challenge for us engineers. Take the course, pass the test, get the certificate. Very mechanical and deterministic. People on the other hand are non-deterministic… Read More
With every process node and every SOC design, engineering and IT teams are experiencing an unprecedented data explosion. User workspaces routinely exceed 10’s of GB and sometimes even 100’s of GB. Regression runs, characterization runs, design and debug of workspaces, building verification environments – all of these… Read More
When facing a new design objective, we check off all the established tools and flows we know we are going to need. For everything else, we default to an expectation that we will paper over the gaps with scripting, documentation and spreadsheets. And why not? When we don’t know what we will have to deal with, in documentation, scheduling,… Read More
FPGAs have become a lot more capable and a lot more powerful, more closely resembling SoCs than the glue-logic we once considered them to be. Look at any big FPGA – a Xilinx Zynq, an Intel/Altera Arria or a Microsemi SmartFusion; these devices are full-blown SoCs, functionally different from an ASIC SoC only in that some of the device… Read More
Audits. The mere mention of the word keeps project managers up at night and sends most designers running. However, in the case of FPGA designs seeking DO-254 compliance, the product doesn’t ship until the audit is complete – there is no avoiding it, or skating around it.… Read More
Vector blasting hardware is as old as digital test methodology itself. In the days of relatively simple combinational and finite state machine logic, a set of vectors aimed broadside at inputs could shake loose most faults with observable outputs. With FPGAs, creating an effective set of artificial test vectors has become a lot… Read More
“Failure to plan is planning to fail.” If that is true – and it has been quoted verbatim or slightly modified so many times throughout modern history, there has to be some truth – why does most of the engineering community seem to detest planning so much?
Engineering planning doesn’t mean whipping out a block diagram or pseudo code,… Read More
Engineers are known for their attention to detail and precision in thinking, but sometimes still struggle during compliance audits. This is especially true the longer a list of requirements becomes, especially unstructured lists kept in spreadsheets and on Post-It notes.
It gets even more complicated, because in defense circles… Read More
Word association: if I said “requirements management”, you’d probably say IBM Rational “DOORS,” or maybe Serena or Polarion if you come from the IT world. But what if the requirements you need to manage are for an FPGA or ASIC, with HDL and testbench code and waveform files and more details backing verification, and compliance… Read More