Some significant news was announced at the Design Automation Conference June 4 - the official debut of the Unified Coverage Interoperability Standard (UCIS 1.0) by the Accellera standards organization. Accellera hosted a June 6 lunch event at which Richard Ho (right), co-chair of the UCIS Committee and research lead at D.E. Shaw Research, gave a detailed overview of UCIS and showed how it will benefit verification engineers.
The goal of UCIS is to allow interoperability of verification coverage data across different tools from multiple vendors. The standards effort was launched in 2006 with the realization that every verification tool had its own way of tracking coverage data, making it difficult to combine or compare coverage information between tools. Further, different types of tools - RTL simulation, SystemC simulation, formal verification, and emulation, for instance - produce different kinds of data, complicating efforts to get an overall view of when verification is completed.
UCIS doesn't establish a universal coverage metric, but it is built upon a standard API that will allow engineers to merge data from different tools into a unified coverage database. It also provides an XML format for the interchange of coverage data. UCIS has broad industry support, and as Ho noted verification providers including Cadence, Synopsys, Mentor Graphics and Jasper Design Automation have all contributed to the standardization effort.
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