By Neill Mullinger, Synopsys
Tech Design Forum
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. Verification engineers require fast access to information and knowledge of the protocol to quickly ramp on new protocols and new versions of existing protocols.
These requirements won’t go away. Protocols are becoming still-more complex and numerous, and the days of writing your own VIP with the attendant risk of spec misinterpretations and ongoing support load are long gone. Development teams recognize the need to spend engineering cycles on value-added tasks, not re-inventing the wheel. So the onus falls on the third-party VIP vendors. Their VIP must have the capabilities to reduce the protocol expertise needed by users. Choosing the right VIP vendor is a critical choice for project success.
The challenge lies in getting VIP that has the right combination of qualities. With that goal in mind, here is my take on 10 broad ‘need-to-knows’ and, within them, some specific questions to ask vendors. They should help you find VIP that maximizes the effectiveness of your verification.
One quick note: these themes are not ranked in a particular order. Your own projects are likely to determine that, and priorities will vary for different markets. However, you will probably want to pull on all of them to some extent.
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