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Comments: EDA functional verification a long way

In Electronic Infomation Category: R | on December   1, 2010

In integrated circuit (IC) development process, validation is a very expensive process. But it is difficult to efficiently complete the verification. The industrial sector is now widely used in coverage-driven verification (CDV), but this method is also considered incomplete verification.

Verification environment in the implementation of the following three conditions must be met to find design flaws,:

1. Defect must be activated, for example, the code contains the defect must be used.

2. Defect must be passed to an observable point, such as design of the output.

3. Defect must be detected, for example, to check the behavior and ICS502M datasheet and performance failure.

Like code coverage and ICS502M price and functional coverage to ensure that such technology can design code is activated. However, they can not guarantee delivery defects, and ICS502M suppliers and defects can be examined procedures and / or assert statement detected.

Verification environment must be running throughout the entire design of the path (from input to check the program), but these temporary internal relations are not in code coverage information. The code is likely to be unintended side effects of test cases covered. Code coverage can indicate the code to run simulations, but can not tell the user whether the defects in the code passed to the inspection procedures, and cause the failure of test cases. In addition, the code does not cover the surface of the output behavior was properly tested.

Functional coverage is coverage of the new generation of technology that allows verification engineers to specify what they want to run the design of behavior. In theory, functional coverage is indeed possible to detect a relationship between some temporary, but it is possible that a certain functional coverage points are ignored as side effects, leading to the results of related functions can not be performed. In the pseudo-random input sequence, this case is more likely to occur. The design of a large number of possible paths, functional coverage code, the code may be wrong, and its subjectivity, which means the test is completely unrealistic. And code coverage is similar to functional coverage can not be indicative of the check is sufficient. Can not know exactly which one to check program from the output path has been verified.

Functional identification is based on the functional level of error simulation, is completely different methods to measure the complete extent of functional verification. Inserted through the artificial defects in the design, functional identification of measured features and design verification environment to run the artificial defects delivered to the inspection procedures and the ability to cause failure. Detection of artificial defects can not be verified implies the existence of blind spots. If the artificial defects can not be found, then the verification can not prove the actual design flaws have been identified. Functional identification is the first direct measurement of verification environment, the technical ability to find defects. Functional Identification of direct coverage of the existing verification environment, verification of the branch is not as comprehensive inspection program is not a branch of the same.

Authentication code function of design quality is measured. Since we have to rely on verification code to tell us the quality of the design code, so from the beginning of simulation-based verification have this problem, you can not measure the quality of verification code. Professional verification engineers are experts in quality control, functional identification of them is nothing less than a revolution. So they have an objective feedback to improve the verification process, and they can also control the quality of validation code.

Designers with a variety of methods of objective measure of their work, such as the design area, delay and power consumption. The verification area is the lack of objective, comprehensive approach to measure, it also maintained the "art" features. Functional identification of the objective to verify the measurement method of the same engineers, design engineers so that they can now be judged the same. Verification Engineer is now available from art into science can objectively demonstrate their skills and improve verification.

Electronic design automation (EDA) researchers to cover the technology is always confused. To demonstrate the effectiveness of new technologies, they need to be measured. Because coverage of methods have been measured, and verification technology has been transferred to the main innovation covering design to automatically generate input sequences. But this is not the industry really needed. EDA needs to be the potential for automated detection of design flaws, to ensure that defects can be passed, and design flaws can be checked out.

EDA industry is a typical cycle: at each manufacturing node, new challenges have emerged; EDA research to address these issues and move forward to find the next node as the challenges. Measure of validation of the quality, the coverage is not a good method, but the industry will continue to move forward, and assuming that this problem has been solved. A lot of resources and efforts are used to EDA users toward CDV method. However, there is an elephant in the room - and can not fully measure the coverage!

Functional identification of design verification can provide objective and comprehensive measurement. Options and strategies that will be indirectly measured, the verification team and engineers have become cautious. Validation of a professional staff, this is a good news: they can objectively show how good they are. We can expect the measure as an objective, more engineers will be attracted to verify the field. We can also anticipate that there will be more structured and innovative EDA verification products appear, they can transfer and inspection of potential defects automation. The industry needs to recognize that the current functional identification, the method does not fully cover the past. Functional identification verification method for measuring the need for rethinking of fundamental and profound change mean.

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