Posts Tagged ‘UCDB’

20 November, 2012

Verification Academy Adds Major New Technical Resource

The Verification Academy adds another major methodology cookbook to focus on effective coverage adoption.  The Coverage Cookbook describes the different types of coverage that are available to track your verification process progress, how to create a functional coverage model from a specification, and provides examples to implement functional coverage for different types of designs.

Verification Academy “full access” members have access to the free Coverage Cookbook and the UVM/OVM Cookbooks as well.  Are you a registered full access member?  If not, register now to become a full access member.  (Restrictions apply.)

Coverage is not a new topic.  It was one of major additions to the SystemVerilog (IEEE Std. 1800™-2009) standard.  But the SystemVerilog functional coverage extensions were left to the verification engineer to use in such as way to return meaningful measurements of how much of the design specification was being tested.  The Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) offers greater structure for coverage over SystemVerilog, but it too, is still only a piece of the puzzle.

imageAs verification teams have come to generate greater amounts of information from use of SystemVerilog, UVM and other verification tools, the data from the verification runs needs to be easily used to drive coverage closure.  Within the Mentor Graphics Questa verification platform, this resulted in the development of the Unified Coverage Database (UCDB) and associated verification management and planning features.

Since verification teams use a variety of tools and technology from many sources, it was an imperative that verification information could be easily shared and combined to help drive faster coverage closure across the industry.  This is why Mentor Graphics donated its UCDB API to Accellera where it became the Unified Coverage Interoperability Standard (UCIS).

It would be great to think that we are done; but we’re not.  Tools and data are just two dimensions of the three dimensions to any IC design project.  A comprehensive approach to verification management that handles all of this adds the third dimension.  The Mentor Graphics Questa Verification Management features handle all this.

Now the question is how to best adopt and use all the capabilities at hand from the standards to the verification technology at your finger tips.

The Verification Academy Coverage Cookbook is one of the important tools you now have to help pull all the information into a single place where you can learn the theory and put that theory into practice.  The Coverage Cookbook is much like the OVM/UVM Cookbooks in that it is web friendly, while supporting the ability for you to generate a PDF file of the whole document in case you want to have a printed copy or have it available for offline reference.

The Theory section covers:

  • What is coverage?
  • Kinds of coverage
  • Code Coverage
  • Functional Coverage
  • Specification to coverage
  • Coding for analysis

The Practice section shows three examples you can use today:

  • Bus protocol coverage using ARM® APB3
  • Block level coverage using UART
  • Datapath coverage using BiQuad IIR Filter

The Coverage Cookbook is a live document. You can expect continued extensions and contributions to enhance it.  As Harry Foster, Mentor Graphics’ Chief Scientist Verification put it, “Methodology is the bridge between tools and technologies, which creates a productive, predictable, and repeatable solution.”  We should expect that our collective use of this technology will help hone the methodology which is the heart of the Coverage Cookbook.  And with this use, we should expect the Coverage Cookbook to evolve as we achieve greater verification productivity.

Let us know what you think about the Coverage Cookbook and what we might be able to do to improve it.  In the meantime, Happy Coverage Closing!

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12 July, 2012

Accellera Ushers in Unified Coverage Interoperability Standard (UCIS)

For the past few months, Accellera’s Unified Coverage Interoperability Standards working group has completed and released a new standard that is destined to help boost verification productivity and efficiency.  Verification teams use a variety of verification technologies, many times from different suppliers, to achieve their verification goals.  Collecting information on how each tool adds to verification closure and sharing this information for ever larger designs among different tools has become a daunting challenge.

As a precursor to addressing this from a standardization point of view, many companies built their own way of collecting and sharing this information.  Users recognized the need for a standard and market participants responded.  For Mentor Graphics part, we developed and deployed the Unified Coverage Database (UCDB) technology for our verification products several years back.  Via our Questa Vanguard Partnership program, many partners have integrated into the UCDB to help drive further verification efficiency and productivity for mutual customers.

Yet, users were still left with the challenge to use the emerging coverage database technologies from multiple vendors.  Those users sought a solution to this dilemma from Accellera.  After users completed a requirements document that outlined their needs, we at Mentor Graphics noted that our UCDB technology offered a good match.  We offered to seed the standards development with our tested technology, as did other suppliers.  In the end and with extensions from consultations with other suppliers, an updated UCDB Application Programming Interface (API) specification from Mentor Graphics formed the basis from which Accellera created the UCIS API standard.

UCIS CoverpageIn July 2008 we announced the Mentor Graphics technology donation to this Accellera standards effort.  And on the day Accellera announced completion and availability of the standard at DAC 2012, Mentor Graphics was the first to announce product support.

To read more about support of UCIS and how it plays a critical role in verification, you may wish to read the article in the DAC issue of Verification Horizons.

The UCIS co-chair, Dr. Richard Ho from D.E. Shaw Research presented a comprehensive overview of UCIS at DAC.  Dr. Ho along with his co-chair, Dr. Ambar Sarkar of Paradigm Works, Inc. also presented a tutorial at DVCon 2012 titled An Introduction to the Unified Coverage Interoperability Standard.  The tutorial is available online.  Accellera does require registration for the tutorial.  The DVCon 2012 website on the UCIS tutorial goes into detail about what is covered in this 1 hour presentation.

I highly recommend you register and watch the DVCon 2012 tutorial for a good overview of UCIS.  You can also download, for free and without registration, your copy of the Unified Coverage Interoperability Standard here.  It makes a good companion for the tutorial.

What will you do with UCIS?

After reading the standard and watching the tutorial you should have a solid understanding of the importance it plays to reach coverage closure.  You will learn how you can create applications to improve your own verification productivity and efficiency.  Do you want to share the applications you write?  The new UCIS forum and contribution area was created just for this purpose by Accellera.  Please visit the site, register and contribute.

As more users begin to adopt UCIS, I envision this site will provide a good site for users to share applications.

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