Adnan Hamid, Breker Verification Systems
EDN - March 09, 2017
The Accellera Portable Stimulus (PS) standard is expected to be released early this year and that will set the stage for the abstraction of verification to be raised to the system level. While attempts have been made to raise the abstraction used for design, the industry decided to stay at the Register Transfer Level (RTL) for most blocks and instead use a block assembly approach to create systems using internally developed IP or IP coming from third parties. However, verification costs have been rising, and existing verification languages, such as SystemVerilog, and methodologies, including the Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) fail to address issues associated with system-level verification. Thus, the stage was set for the development of a new system level verification methodology.
Portable Stimulus is the first true verification language, in that it does not focus on the direct creation of stimulus like previous generations. It is a description of verification intent, encapsulated in a mixture of C++ and graphs. Tools transform that verification intent model into fully self-checking scenarios run on the design in a simulator or emulator. This process is very similar to the notions of synthesis being applied to a design model, except the output from the tool is a verification test case. While test case synthesis is the first application under consideration for PS, many other applications will be possible. The verification intent model is also a natural place to collect coverage data, but first the industry has to decide what coverage means at the system level.
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