Posts Tagged ‘Low Power’

15 October, 2013

Low Power Flow Kicks-off Symposium

In the world of electronic design automation, as an idea takes hold and works its way from thought to silicon, numerous tools are used by engineers and the like to help bring a good idea to product fruition.  Standards play a key and important role to help move your user information from high-level concepts into the netlists can be realized in silicon.  The IEEE Standards Association is holding a Symposium on EDA Interoperability to help members of the electronics/semiconductor design and verification community better understand the landscape of EDA and IP standards and the role they play to address interoperability.

Another key component are the programs and business relationships we foster to promote tool connectivity and interoperability among each other.  The Questa users rely on the Questa Vanguard Partnership program so their trusted tool and technology partners have access to our verification technology to allow them to craft the leading edge design and verification flows with technology from numerous sources.  If your users want you to connect with Questa, we invite them to explore the benefits of this program.  Even better, join us at the IEEE SA Symposium on EDA Interoperability where can also discuss this in person – Register Here!

Event Details
Date: 24 October 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PT
Location: Techmart – 5201 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054-1125
Cost: Free!
Program: http://standards.ieee.org/events/edasymposium/program.html

One of the more pressing issues in design and verification today is address the issue of low power.  The IEEE SA Symposium on EDA kicks-off the morning with its first session on “Interoperability Challenges: Power Management in Silicon.”  The session will feature an opening presentation on the state of standardization by the Vice Chair of the IEEE P1801 Working Group (and Mentor Graphics Verification Architect) as well as two presentations from ARM on the use of the IEEE 1801 (UPF) standard.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Session 1: Interoperability Challenges: Power Management in Silicon
IEEE 1801 Low Power Format: Impact and Opportunities
Erich Marschner, Vice Chair of IEEE P1801 Working Group, Verification Architect, Mentor Graphics
Power Intent Constraints: Using IEEE1801 to improve the quality of soft IP
Stuart Riches, Project Manager, ARM
Power Intent Verification: Using IEEE1801 for the verification of ARM Cortex A53 processor
Adnan Khan, Senior Engineer, ARM

The event is sponsored by Mentor Graphics and Synopsys and we have made sure the symposium is free to attend.  You just need to register.  There are other great aspects to the event, not just the ability to have a conversation on the state of standards for low power design and verification in the morning.  In fact, the end of the event will take a look at EDA 2020 and what is needed in the future.  This will be a very interactive session that will open the conversation to all attendees.  I can’t wait to learn what you have to share!  See you at the Techmart on the 24th.

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28 June, 2013

Clocking and Power Trends

In Part 2 of this series of blogs, I continued the discussion focused on design trends (click here) as identified by the 2012 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study (click here). In this blog, I continue presenting the study findings related to design trends, with a focus on clocking and power trends.

Independent Asynchronous Clock Domains

Figure 1 shows the percentage of designs developed today by the number of independent asynchronous clock domains. The asynchronous clock domain data for FPGA designs is shown in red, while the data for the non-FPGA designs is shown in green.

 

Figure 1. Number of independent asynchronous clock domains

Figure 2 shows the trends in number of independent asynchronous clock domains for non-FPGA designs. The comparison includes the 2002 Collett study (in dark green), the 2007 Far West Research study (in gray), the 2010 Wilson Research Group study (in blue), and the 2010 Wilson Research Group study (in green).

Figure 2. Trends: Number of independent asynchronous clock domain

It’s interesting to note that, although the number of clock domains is increasing over time, the sweet spot in terms of number of independent asynchronous clock domains seems to remain between 2 and 20, and it hasn’t changed significantly in the past ten years.

Figure 3 provides a different analysis of the data by partitioning the projects by design sizes, and then calculating the mean number of independent asynchronous clock domains by project design. The design size partitions are represented as: less than 5M gates, 5M to 20M gates, and greater than 20M gates.

Figure 3. Mean number of independent clock domains by design size

Power Management

Today, we see that about 67 percent of design projects actively manage power with a wide variety of techniques, ranging from simple clock-gating, to complex hypervisor/OS-controlled power management schemes. We decided for the 2012 Wilson Research Group study that we wanted to take a closer look at power management related to functional verification. Hence, I can share some interesting results with you here. However, since this aspect of functional verification has never been studied in previous surveys, I will not be able to show trends. Our goal is to carry these same questions forward in our future studies so that we can identify trends.

For these, Figure 4 shows the various aspects of their power-managed design that they verify (for those 67 percent of design projects that actively manage power).

Figure 4. Aspects of power-managed design that are verified

In our study, we asked what percentage of simulation was power-aware (that is, verifying some functional aspect of the power-management scheme), and the results are shown in Figure 5. We were surprised to learn that about 10 percent of all designs that actively manage power perform no power-aware simulation to verify the power management scheme.

Figure 5. Percentage of simulation that verified some aspect of power management

In addition, we asked what percent of verification resources were focused on power management verification, and the results are shown in Figure 6. You will note that the curve is very similar to the percentage of total simulations that were power-aware, which you would expect. Again, we see that about 10 percent of the projects that actively manage power provide no verification resources to verify the power-management scheme.

 

Figure 6. Percentage of verification resources focused on power management

Figure 7 shows the different types of simulation-based functional testing approaches that are currently applied to verifying power management. It’s not a surprise that most power-aware simulation is based on directed-testing approaches since often (but not always) power-aware simulations are performed at the SoC integration level where directed testing is common.

 

Figure 7. Percentage of simulation that verified some aspect of power management

Since the power intent cannot be directly described in an RTL model, alternative supporting notations have recently emerged to capture the power intent. In the 2012 study, we wanted to get a sense of where the industry stands in adopting the notation. For projects that actively manage power, Figure 8 shows the various notations that have been adopted to describe the power intent. Some projects are actively using multiple standards (such as different versions of UPF or a combination of CPF and UPF). That’s why the adoption results do not sum to 100 percent.

 

Figure 8. Notation used to describe power intent

In my next blog (click here), I’ll present data on design and verification reuse trends.

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29 May, 2013

Download the standard now – at no charge

The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) has published the latest UPF 2.1 standard, officially called IEEE Standard for Design and Verification of Low-Power Integrated Circuits, many refer to it as IEEE 1801 or UPF for the Unified Power Format as this was the name Accellera had given it prior to transferring standardization responsibility and ongoing maintenance and enhancement to the IEEE.  Further – Courtesy of Accellera – the standard is available for download without charge directly from the IEEE.

1801-2013_Page_001The latest update to IEEE 1801 is ready for download.  It joins other EDA standards, like SystemVerilog and SystemC in the IEEE Get™ program that grants public access to view and download current individual standards at no charge as a PDF.  (If you wish to have an older, superseded and withdrawn version of the standard or if you wish to have a printed copy or have it in a CD-ROM format, you can purchase older and alternate formats from IEEE for a fee.)

The official IEEE announcement on the standard’s publication can be found here.  And the official Accellera announcement that it has partnered with the IEEE-SA to offer the standard to all at no charge can be found here.  This revision of the standard had one of the largest number of IEEE-SA entity members of any corporate standards program.  Participation from the IEEE-SA global community of entity participants ensures the needs of a broad set of companies are captured to support this worldwide standard.

Just In Time For DAC

50th DACDAC 2013 has many events that will allow you to learn more about the new standard and how to use it to your maximum benefit.  And for those who cannot attend DAC, visit the Verification Academy, you will find the Low Power sessions cover the new standard as well. [Registration required; restrictions apply.]

Sunday
Topic: DAC Workshop:  Low-Power Design with the New IEEE 1801-2013 Standard
Date: 2 June 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Convention Center: Room 18C
Registration: Official DAC Workshop registration required ($). For more information and to register, click here.


Monday
Accellera Breakfast & Town Hall Meeting
Topic: The Standard for Low Power Design and Verification is here!  What’s next?
Date: 3 June 2013
Time: 7:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
Location: Convention Center: Ballroom D
Registration: This is a free Accellera event, but registration is required.  Form more information click here and to register, click here.


Monday
Verification Academy
Topic: “Low Power Monday”
Date: 3 June 2013
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Tradeshow Floor – Booth 1215
Registration: The DAC Tradeshow floor is open to all DAC registrants. Visit www.dac.com to register.

The Verification Academy is open to all DAC registrants.  There are no restrictions and we invite everyone to visit booth 1215 for Low Power sessions that may be of interest to you on Monday.  To help judge attendance, please feel free to pre-register at here.  I look forward to see you there as you will find me here most of the time Monday-Wednesday.

Time Description Presenter
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Low Power Verification Tim Jordon
MicroChip Technlogy
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m What’s New in UPF 2.1? Erich Marschner
IEEE 1801 Vice-chair
Mentor Graphics
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. UPF-Based Verification for Cypress PSOC Ellie Burns
Mentor Graphics
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Optimizing for Power Efficient Design Abhishek Ranjan
Calypto
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. IEEE 1801 UPF Commands and Methodology John Biggs
ARM
IEEE 1801 Chair

If you are coming to DAC and participating in the DAC Low Power Workshop on Sunday, or in other events, download your person copy of the new IEEE 1800-2013 standard today.  The PDF form allows you to take it with you and read it using your favorite e-reader or i-device.  Let’s me know what you think of the standard.  And – See you at DAC!

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29 April, 2013

Power Aware Verification Course Modules Released

I guess I could continue the puns on the low-power theme as a few readers may get a charge out of it. And there is a reason I seem to gravitate to puns from the start. The first chair of the IEEE 1801 committee and I exchanged puns one time that resulted in him shipping me a Pun DVD that recorded a pun contest in which one person and another tried to out do the other when it came to puns. So it is understandable why the topic of low power standards takes me back to these fun exchanges.

But low power design and verification is a serious issue that design teams continue to grapple. To take advantage of emerging support of the new low power standard takes time and energy on part of practicing engineers and design teams. More information on what IEEE Std. 1801™-2013 (Unified Power Format) is and how you can use it is needed.

Back in March 2013 I blogged that the revised IEEE low power standard had been approved. I also mentioned there would be a short wait until the standard itself was published. And, indeed, we continue to wait for the final editing of the standard. I shared a link to a short article on the content of the standard, but more information is needed.

PA Verificatio Intro.jpgTo address this need, the Verification Academy has added a course on Power Aware Verification. There are six (6) sessions that will introduce you to power aware verification, UPF and walk you through an example to illustrate the use of the standard in more detail in about 1.5 hours. In order to access the course material you will need to be a “full access” registrant of Verification Academy. There is no fee for this, but restrictions apply.

In addition to watching the video course sessions online, you can also download the presentations and MP4 videos of the course for offline viewing.

The six course sessions are:

We are interested to get your feedback on the Power Aware Verification course and learn what additional sessions you think would help you get AMP’ed up to further the need to conserve energy. Let us know!

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14 March, 2013

IEEE 1801™-2013 Enters Pre-Publish Phase

The completion and approval of electronic design automation standards has seemed to be the order of the day for several months now.  Added to this list is the IEEE Standards Association (SA) approval of their newly revised low power standard (IEEE 1801™-2013).  The IEEE SA’s Review Committee (RevCom) unanimously recommended approval and that was confirmed by the IEEE SA’s Standards Board last week.

If you don’t recognize IEEE 1801, you may also know it as the Unified Power Format (UPF).

As with all the IEEE standards, after approval, they are sent to editorial staff to prepare them for publication.  So while you might expect me to suggest you get a copy of the standard, if low power design and verification is important to you, I know you cannot get a copy yet.  So I won’t do that.  If you do need something, the superseded version from 2009 is the only one available at this moment.  I will keep you updated as to when it is published and ready for access to the global design community.

imageMentor Graphics’ Erich Marschner and vice chair of the IEEE 1801 working group has published a short article in the DVCon edition of Verification Horizons titled Bringing Verification and Validation under One Umbrella The Evolution of UPF: What’s Next?  (Free access; no registration required; 81KB)

Erich gives a good introduction to the new standard, also known as UPF 2.1.  He describes that UPF 2.1 is an incremental update of UPF 2.0 and not a major revision. He shares that UPF 2.1 contains a large number of small changes, ranging from subtle refinements of existing commands to improve usability, to new concepts that help ensure accurate modeling of power management effects. His article describes some of the more interesting enhancements and refinements that can be found in the new standard.

Erich also shared that the 1801 working group is composed of more than 16 user and vendor companies with even many more participating in the final ballot.  This gives us good confidence in the content of this standard and that the group will be ready to tackle the next issues and emerging requirements to further improve low power design and verification.  If you are interested to join in with the IEEE 1801 team, visit here for more information.

DVCon UPF Tutorial

The IEEE 1801 leadership hosted a half day tutorial on the new standard in late February at DVCon.  For those who registered for the conference, the tutorial presentation is still available online.  Unfortunately, the material has not yet been made available to the general public.  If you know someone who attended DVCon, and went to the tutorial, you might want to see if you can borrow their copy.  The conference did an audio recording and I believe plans are to sync the audio with slides for those who were unable to attend DVCon. Stay tuned for this and I will share information when this becomes available.

As for planning you can do now.  The IEEE 1801 team will host a tutorial at DAC on Sunday.  I will share more information with you on that once the DAC registration site goes live.  Until then, I guess we all have to wait and be patient – and plan our trips to DAC in Austin, TX.

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19 February, 2013

Learn about new standards, industry surveys and trends

This year’s DVCon is set and if you have not yet registered, you can do it now – or just show up!  If you want to secure seating at some of the Monday tutorial events, I strongly encourage pre-registration to ensure you can secure a seat.  And if you just want to see the exhibits and chat with suppliers, that’s free.

The IEEE low power format is set to close on its current round standardization shortly and DVCon is a great place to learn all about it from the experts.  Harry Foster will update the DVCon attendees on design and verification trends over lunch on Tuesday and later that afternoon, Mentor CEO, Wally Rhines will offer this year’s DVCon keynote.  His keynotes are always insightful and entertaining.  And if you want to catch me, you can find me with the Mentor staff at the Mentor exhibit booth.  Or just follow @dennisbrophy on Twitter and I will share info on paper presentations and other happenings.  For more details on the events mentioned above, see below.  For more information DVCon in general, visit the website at www.dvcon.org.


Monday | February 25th | 1:30pm – 4:30 | Fir Ballroom
Low Power Design, Verification, and Implementation with IEEE 1801™ UPF™

The past few years, the IEEE P1801™ (Unified Low Power – UPF) Working Group has been busy working on an update to the industry’s standard for low power design, verification and implementation.  Accellera has brought together experts from many EDA tool suppliers and users for this tutorial.  Attendees can expect to gain a detailed understanding of of the IEEE standard (concepts, terminology & features) as well as an understanding of the practical aspects to apply UPF in real world flows.

The following experts will be help you learn about the new standard – and will be available to interact with at the conclusion of the tutorial.

Speakers:
  • John Biggs – ARM, Inc.
  • Sushma Honnavara-Prasad – Broadcom Corp.
  • Dr. Qi Wang – Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
  • Erich Marschner – Mentor Graphics Corp.
  • Jeffrey Lee – Synopsys, Inc.

Learn more, then register.


Tuesday | February 26th | 11:30am – 12:45pm | Pine/Cedar Ballroom
The Changing Landscape in Functional Verification: Industry Trends, Challenges, and Solutions
Presented by Harry Foster

Mentor Graphics invites you to join us for lunch—where we will present, for the first time publicly, highlights from this year’s Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study. Be the first on your block to learn the latest verification trends, challenges, and solutions.
Learn more, then register.


Tuesday | February 26th | 3:30pm – 4:30pm | Oak/Fir Ballroom
Speaker: Wally Rhines, Chairman and CEO of Mentor Graphics

As a thought provoking, timely, and informative presentation, this keynote session will focus on functional verification trends and the accelerated adoption of advanced functional verification technologies, methodologies and languages.
Learn more, then register.


Booth #901
Tuesday & Wednesday (February 26th & 27th)
3:30pm – 6:30pm

I look forward to meet up with those who attend DVCon.  You can catch me at or around the Mentor booth for the last three hours of the conference.

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20 July, 2012

Live & In-Person at DAC 2012!

DAC 2012 4Verification Academy, the brain child of Harry Foster, Chief Verification Scientist at Mentor Graphics, was live from the Design Automation Conference tradeshow floor this year.  Harry is pictured to the right giving an update on his popular verification survey from the DAC tradeshow floor.

The Verification Academy, predominantly a web-based resource is a popular site for verification information with more than 11,000 registered members for forum access on topics ranging from OVM/UVM, SystemVerilog and Analog/Mixed-Signal design.  The popular OVM/UVM Cookbook, which used to be available as a print edition, is now a live online resource there as well.  A whole host of educational modules and seminars can also be found there too.

If you know about the Verification Academy, you know all about  the content mentioned above and that there is much more to be found there.  For those who don’t know as much about it, Harry took a break from the being at the Verification Academy booth at DAC to discuss the Verification Academy with Luke Collins, Technology Journalist, Tech Design Forum.  (Flash is required to watch Harry discuss Verification Academy with Luke.)

The Verification Academy at DAC was a great venue to connect in person with other Verification Academy users to discuss standards, methodologies, flows and other industry trends.  Each hour there were short presentations by Verification Academy members that proved to be a popular way to start some interesting conversations.  While we realize not all Verification Academy members were able to attend DAC in person, we know many have expressed an interest to some of the presentations.  Verification Academy “Total Access” members now have access to many of the presentations.

 

ARM

 

Doulos

 

Thales Alenia Space

 

Test & Verification Solutions

 

Willamette HDL

 

Sunburst Design

 

Mentor Graphics

Total Access members can also download all the presentations in a .zip file.  Happy reading to all those who were unable to visit us at DAC and thank you to all who were able to stop by and visit.

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