Instant Replay for Debugging SoC Level Simulations
Instant Replay Offers Multiple Views at Any Speed
If you’ve watched any professional sporting event on television lately, you’ve seen the pressure put on referees and umpires. They have to make split-second decisions in real-time, having viewed ultra-high-speed action just a single time. But watching at home on television, we get the luxury of viewing multiple replays of events in question in high-definition super-slow-motion, one frame at a time, and even in reverse. We also get to see many different views of these controversial events, from the front, the back, the side, up close, or far away. Sometimes it seems there must be twenty different cameras at every sporting event.
Wouldn’t it nice if you could apply this same principle to your SoC level simulations? What if you had instant replay from multiple viewing angles in your functional verification toolbox? It turns out that such a technology indeed exists, and it’s called “Codelink Replay”.
Codelink Replay enables verification engineers to use instant replay with multiple viewing angles to quickly and accurately debug even the most complex SoC level simulation failures. This is becoming increasingly important, as we see in Harry Foster’s blog series about the 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study that over half of all new design starts now contain multiple embedded processors. If you’re responsible for verifying a design with multiple embedded cores such as ARM’s new Cortex A15 and Cortex A7 processors, this technology will have a dramatic impact for you.
Multi-Core SoC Design Verification
Multi-core designs present a whole new level of verification challenges. Achieving functional coverage of your IP blocks at the RTL level has become merely a pre-requisite now – as they say “necessary but not sufficient”. Welcome to the world of SoC level verification, where you use your design’s software as a testbench. After all, since a testbench’s role is to mimic the design’s target environment, so as to test its functionality, how better to accomplish this than to execute the design’s software against its hardware, albeit during simulation?
Some verification teams have already dabbled in this world. Perhaps you’ve written a handful of tests in C or assembly code, loaded them into memory, initialized your processor, and executed them. This is indeed the best way to verify SoC level functionality including power optimization management, clocking domain control, bus traffic arbitration schemes, driver-to-peripheral compatibility, and more, as none of these aspects of an SoC design can be appropriately verified at the RTL IP block level.
However, imagine running a software testbench program only to see that the processor stopped executing code two hours into the simulation. What do you do next? Debugging “software as a testbench” simulation can be daunting. Especially when the software developers say “the software is good”, and the hardware designers say “the hardware is fine”. Until recently, you could count on weeks to debug these types of failures. And the problem is compounded with today’s SoC designs with multiple processors running software test programs from memory.
This is where Codelink Replay comes in. It enables you to replay your simulation in slow motion or fast forward, while observing many different views including hardware views (waveforms, CPU register values, program counter, call stack, bus transactions, and four-state logic) and software views (memory, source code, decompiled code, variable values, and output) – all remaining in perfect synchrony, whether you’re playing forward or backward, single-step, slow-motion, or fast speed. So when your simulation fails, just start at that point in time, and replay backwards to the root of the problem. It’s non-invasive. It doesn’t require any modifications to your design or to your tests.
Debugging SoC Designs Quickly and Accurately
So if you’re under pressure to make fast and accurate decisions when your SoC level tests fail, you can relate to the challenges faced by professional sports referees and umpires. But with Codelink Replay, you can be assured that there are about 20 different virtual “cameras” tracing and logging your processors during simulation, giving you the same instant replay benefit we get when we watch sporting events on television. If you’re interested to learn more about this new technology, check out the web seminar at the URL below, that introduces Codelink Replay, and shows how it supports the entire ARM family of processors, including even the latest Cortex A-Series, Cortex R-Series, and Cortex M-Series.
Posted December 13th, 2011, by Mark Olen
- Loading tweets...
- Loading tweets...
- Loading tweets...
- Epilogue: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- New Verification Horizons Issue Available
- Happy Halloween from ARM TechCon
- IEEE Standards Association Symposium on EDA Interoperability
- STMicroelectronics: Simulation + Emulation = Verification Success
- A Decade of SystemVerilog: Unifying Design and Verification?
- Part 12: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 11: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 10: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 9: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- November 2013 (2)
- October 2013 (3)
- September 2013 (2)
- August 2013 (4)
- July 2013 (6)
- Part 7: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Walking in the Desert or Drinking from a Fire Hose?
- Part 6: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- A Short Class on SystemVerilog Classes
- Part 5: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 4: The 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- June 2013 (2)
- May 2013 (4)
- April 2013 (2)
- March 2013 (2)
- February 2013 (5)
- January 2013 (1)
- December 2012 (1)
- November 2012 (1)
- October 2012 (4)
- September 2012 (1)
- August 2012 (1)
- July 2012 (6)
- June 2012 (1)
- May 2012 (3)
- March 2012 (1)
- February 2012 (6)
- January 2012 (2)
- December 2011 (2)
- November 2011 (2)
- October 2011 (3)
- September 2011 (1)
- July 2011 (3)
- June 2011 (6)
- Intelligent Testbench Automation Delivers 10X to 100X Faster Functional Verification
- Part 9: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Verification Horizons DAC Issue Now Available Online
- Accellera & OSCI Unite
- The IEEE’s Most Popular EDA Standards
- UVM Register Kit Available for OVM 2.1.2
- May 2011 (2)
- April 2011 (7)
- User-2-User’s Functional Verification Track
- Part 7: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 6: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- SystemC Day 2011 Videos Available Now
- Part 5: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 4: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- Part 3: The 2010 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study
- March 2011 (5)
- February 2011 (4)
- January 2011 (1)
- December 2010 (2)
- October 2010 (3)
- September 2010 (4)
- August 2010 (1)
- July 2010 (3)
- June 2010 (9)
- The reports of OVM’s death are greatly exaggerated (with apologies to Mark Twain)
- New Verification Academy Advanced OVM (&UVM) Module
- OVM/UVM @DAC: The Dog That Didn’t Bark
- DAC: Day 1; An Ode to an Old Friend
- UVM: Joint Statement Issued by Mentor, Cadence & Synopsys
- Static Verification
- OVM/UVM at DAC 2010
- DAC Panel: Bridging Pre-Silicon Verification and Post-Silicon Validation
- Accellera’s DAC Breakfast & Panel Discussion
- May 2010 (9)
- Easier UVM Testbench Construction – UVM Sequence Layering
- North American SystemC User Group (NASCUG) Meeting at DAC
- An Extension to UVM: The UVM Container
- UVM Register Package 2.0 Available for Download
- Accellera’s OVM: Omnimodus Verification Methodology
- High-Level Design Validation and Test (HLDVT) 2010
- New OVM Sequence Layering Package – For Easier Tests
- OVM 2.0 Register Package Released
- OVM Extensions for Testbench Reuse
- April 2010 (6)
- SystemC Day Videos from DVCon Available Now
- On Committees and Motivations
- The Final Signatures (the meeting during the meeting)
- UVM Adoption: Go Native-UVM or use OVM Compatibility Kit?
- UVM-EA (Early Adopter) Starter Kit Available for Download
- Accellera Adopts OVM 2.1.1 for its Universal Verification Methodology (UVM)
- March 2010 (4)
- February 2010 (5)
- January 2010 (5)
- December 2009 (15)
- A Cliffhanger ABV Seminar, Jan 19, Santa Clara, CA
- Truth in Labeling: VMM2.0
- IEEE Std. 1800™-2009 (SystemVerilog) Ready for Purchase & Download
- December Verification Horizons Issue Out
- Evolution is a tinkerer
- It Is Better to Give than It Is to Receive
- Zombie Alert! (Can the CEDA DTC “User Voice” Be Heard When They Won’t Let You Listen)
- DVCon is Just Around the Corner
- The “Standards Corner” Becomes a Blog
- I Am Honored to Honor
- IEEE Standards Association Awards Ceremony
- ABV and being from Missouri…
- Time hogs, blogs, and evolving underdogs…
- Full House – and this is no gamble!
- Welcome to the Verification Horizons Blog!
- September 2009 (2)
- July 2009 (1)
- May 2009 (1)