Q2-2012 - Aldec™ Design and Verification Newsletter
Free Technical Sessions at DAC
Get the scoop on the newest industry trends! Every year at DAC, Aldec’s top engineers are onsite to deliver informative, one-on-one Technical Sessions to all DAC attendees. Increase your knowledge by registering for a private Technical Session at a time that is convenient for you.
The Design Automation Conference (DAC) is the premier event for the design of electronic circuits and systems, and for EDA and silicon solutions. This year’s conference runs June 3-7, 2012 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.
Click here to Register for an Aldec Technical Session.
UVM in Aldec Tools: Verification and Debugging
Aldec provides the latest support for UVM 1.1a, enabling creation of reusable, robust testbenches and interoperable Verification IPs. In this presentation we will demonstrate Riviera-PRO's support of the latest UVM library along with the graphical debugging features helping designers finding and fixing issues more efficiently. We will present the Read More
existing debugging features such as transaction visualization, class visualization, multiclock assertion display, as well as share our roadmap for the future enhancements.
10+ MHz Emulation of 100 Million ASIC Gates with True RTL Debugging
Learn how Aldec is able to run emulation at over 10MHz on a 100 Million gate ASIC design. HES (Hardware Emulation System) is an industry proven emulation solution that can be used with off-the-shelf FPGA prototyping boards or custom in-house FPGA boards. Aldec’s emulation software is equipped with automatic partitioning, ASIC to FPGA clock Read More
conversion, and robust debugging such as static/dynamic probes, memory viewer, triggering and hardware breakpoints. Aldec's mixed language RTL simulator connects to emulation solution providing the ideal emulation environment with true RTL view of hardware debugging data. With the recent release of SCE-MI 2.0 behavioral compiler support you can convert System Verilog transactors with DPI-C function calls to synthesizable code that runs in the FPGA board allowing for the design to run at emulation speeds.
Using Virtual Platforms with Transaction Level Emulation
Virtual platforms play a significant role in system level development, but require integration with ultra-fast emulation systems for HW/SW co-verification. This presentation will show how HW and SW design teams can now implement virtual models of processors, memory and peripheral modules while the RTL modules run in the emulator board. Read More
This integration provides a high performance solution, ideal for early HW/SW co-development and architectural exploration.
High-Level VHDL Verification Doing Well with Help of New OS-VVM Community
You are invited to attend an OS-VVM User Group Meeting (Monday, June 4, 2012 at Aldec’s Booth #2126, Time: tbd) or a schedule a one-on-one Technical Session to learn more about OS-VVM. VHDL is alive and well – used on daily basis by many digital circuit designers and verification engineers. Standard VHDL has all the features necessary to code Read More
randomization of stimulus and functional coverage – both very important while verifying larger, system-level designs. The problem is that those features are quite advanced and require high coding skills. That's why Open Source VHDL Verification Methodology (OS-VVM) is so important.
Requirements-based FPGA Testing Method for DO-254
DO-254 is currently enforced by the FAA as a means of compliance for the development of airborne electronic hardware containing FPGAs, ASICs and PLDs. DO-254 defines a set of verification objectives and methods that present several new challenges to the avionics community. Learn in this session the most significant challenges that can be Read More
encountered during the hardware verification stage of FPGA designs under DO-254 guidelines. More importantly, learn in this session a requirements-based testing methodology that allows reuse of the simulation testbench at-speed on the target device ideal to satisfy the verification objectives of DO-254. This methodology has been deployed by several major avionics companies and has been accepted by airworthiness certification authorities worldwide.
Early Validation of Custom IP for Zynq-based Designs
Learn how Aldec tools, as a part of Xilinx Partnership Ecosystem, address the Hardware Architecture side of Zynq EPP, a new class of product which combines an industry-standard ARM® dual-core Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ processing system with Xilinx 28nm programmable logic. Aldec has been working together with Xilinx to enable the tools for Design Read More
Entry, HDL Simulation, Design Rule Checking, and HW Assisted Verification, providing comprehensive hardware design and verification solution for the most advanced devices in Xilinx portfolio.
Interoperable IP Encryption (P1735): Safe and Smooth Multi-vendor Encryption Flow
In the modern world of verification, old school proprietary methods of protecting Intellectual Property (IP) are no longer feasible: users want to have freedom to use any tool they want and IP creators have to deal with multiple tool vendors. Fortunately for both, IEEE is in the process of finalizing 1735 standard that enables easy interoperability created Read More
by one IP vendor in variety of design flows using variety of tools. Visit our booth to learn about challenges facing interoperable IP creators and tool vendors supporting it.
Simulation on the Cloud: Unlimited Possibilities
Aldec has enabled running RTL and Timing simulation on the secured cloud, providing access to a virtually unlimited number of high performance servers. By running on the cloud, customers can cut the regression testing from days to hours or even minutes. Aldec offers flexible cloud usage model, with the time slots from a few to a few hundred hours. Read More
Such usage model suits well for on-demand simulation peak usage. Saving on the hardware infrastructure and IT related cost is an additional benefit for pushing your simulations to the cloud. Register for this session to learn about the cloud security; who benefits the most from using the cloud simulation; and detailed overview of setting up and running simulation on the cloud.
Sign up for your own personal Aldec Q&A Session at DAC. Choose one of our product Road Maps to preview. Learn more about our UNITE Partner Program. It’s up to you. We look forward to answering your questions one on one at DAC.
Click here to Register for an Aldec Technical Session.
Aldec Adds AXI BFM VIP to its Xilinx SecureIP Simulation Library
A vital aspect of any System-on-a-Chip (SoC) is not only the blocks it holds - but also how they are interconnected. With multiple clusters and sophisticated peripherals in today’s SoCs, the interconnect fabric became a major bottleneck, and the traditional interconnection protocol standards were not sufficient to keep up with the constantly growing computing power and match it with adequate bandwidth. To overcome these limitations, Xilinx worked closely with ARM to define the AXI4 (Advanced eXtensible Interface), the fourth generation of AMBA® interface. The AXI specification provides a framework that defines protocols for moving data between IP using a defined signaling standard. Read More
As part of this commitment to the AXI4, Xilinx adopted it as the next-generation IP interconnect standard for 7-Series, Spartan-6, Virtex-6 and future device families going forward, making this protocol vital to learn for every SoC designer. As such, the AXI4 enables multi-gigabit data transfers between the processor system and programmable logic in Xilinx's cutting edge Zynq EPP (Extensible Processing Platform), eliminating common performance bottlenecks for control, data, I/O, and memory. In addition, aside from the ability to transfer massive amounts of data rapidly at extremely low power, the AMBA-AXI unifies the hardware and software programming domains, enabling engineers to use Zynq EPP to achieve new levels of system inter-block throughput - while tapping into a multitude of hardware peripheral cores that IP vendors and customers have developed for other ARM implementations over the last two decades.
For system analysis and functional verification, Xilinx is working with all the major EDA vendors, including Aldec, to provide simulation tools. The AXI Bus Functional Model (BFMs), a must-have verification platform component, provides the ability to generate the bus stimulus and simplify the verification of hardware components that attach to a bus. View the Application Notes below to learn more details about the AXI and how to simulate an AXI-based IP in Active-HDL 9.1 and Riviera-PRO 2011.10 or later.
App Note Developing AXI-Based IP Using Aldec Active-HDL or Riviera-PRO
Aldec Launches DO-254 Practitioner's Course
DO-254/ED-80 has been officially enforced by the FAA and other worldwide certification agencies as a means of compliance for all custom micro-coded devices such as FPGAs, PLDs and ASICs. All avionics suppliers and developers must now adhere to the requirements-based design and testing approach imposed by the standard and supply rigorous documentation commensurate to the safety-criticality level of the hardware product. Read More
Receiving proper training for DO-254 is a critical step in learning how to apply DO-254 to new and existing avionics hardware. Aldec offers a DO-254 Practitioner’s Course to provide comprehensive training in understanding DO-254 specification, objectives and requirements. Taught by FAA DER, Randall Fulton and Hardware Design Engineer, Roy Vandermolen, this three day course provides examples of well-proven and compliant methods to enable a faster, easier and more cost-effective path to FAA certification. General topics covered in the course include: Use of PLDs in Avionics, Requirements Optimization for Verification, Understand the Hardware Design Life Cycle Data, Elemental Analysis, Verification and Validation Considerations, Functional Failure Path Analysis and Design Assurance Through Design Practice.
For more information, including current Training Calendar, please visit www.aldec.com/do254training.
IEEE Published Paper: FPGA Level In-Hardware Verification for DO-254 Compliance
Aldec’s paper regarding FPGA level in-hardware verification for DO-254 compliance has been published by IEEE and is now available for download. The paper was selected for presentation at the 30th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC) held in Seattle, WA.
The paper, presented by Louie De Luna, DO-254 Program Manager, was well-received by conference attendees and addressed several common issues and limitations caused by the stringent objectives of DO-254 verification Read More
process. The paper went on to describe significant challenges during board level testing, as well as solutions such as testing the FPGA in isolation and re-using the simulation testbench as the test vectors for testing. This approach assures that the FPGA is tested with the same level of coverage and confidence obtained through code coverage analysis and RTL simulation, and that the FPGA is fully-debugged and stable before going to the final board testing stage. To download the paper, please click here.
Dynamic Objects in Riviera-PRO Waveform
Riviera-PRO™ enables tracing SystemVerilog classes just like any regular static objects. In the Waveform Window, an object of the class type is presented as a class handle that holds reference to a class instance as its value. Reference is presented using mnemonics that consist of the @ character along with a number (e.g. @2). As class handles can hold references to different instances during simulation progress, actual instance mnemonics are displayed on the waveform and in the Value column, similarly as values of any other data type. Read More
When you press the plus icon near a mnemonic located on the waveform, the actual class instance (\@2\ on the Figure 15) will be added below the class handle (driver_model_B). The instance may be expanded to display member values. Class instances can also be added by invoking the context menu over a waveform with a given mnemonic and selecting the Add Class Instance option. Placing the mouse over a mnemonic of a class instance on the class handle track, highlights all occurrences of the given class instance in light-blue.
This new functionality brings the debugging capabilities to another level by enabling analysis of dynamic objects over the time, organically combined with the objects of any other data type.
Simulation on the Cloud: Unlimited Possibilities
Free Trial Offer: Aldec is running a free Beta trial program through May 31, 2012 for engineers in North America.
With the release of Aldec Cloud™ (currently in Beta), users may now run a virtually unlimited number of parallel HDL simulation tasks. Customers can leverage Aldec Cloud™ for simulation peak usage, with a significant potential cost savings on hardware infrastructure. With Aldec Cloud™, instead of running regressions for N hours, the customers can utilize N servers and complete the regressions within 1 hour for the same cost.
To read about benefits and best use of Aldec Cloud, as well as watch a recorded video demonstration, please click here.
Language neutral libraries for Altera™, Microsemi™ and Xilinx™
Xilinx® first began using SecureIP methodology for IP delivery. These IPs were written using Verilog and SystemVerilog which required Verilog license for simulating them. For the users with a mixed language or Verilog license, this did not create any problems, but VHDL-only license owners were not be able to simulate such IPs as it requires a Verilog simulation license. Since then silicon vendors such as Altera® and Microsemi® also have started providing IPs that have embedded Verilog/SystemVerilog.
Aldec has worked with silicon vendors to provide language neutral libraries that allow users with a VHDL-only license to simulate designs with IP (From Xilinx®, Altera® and Microsemi®) that contains Verilog/SystemVerilog without purchasing a separate Verilog license. These language neutral libraries are watermarked for VHDL-only customers and can be downloaded from Aldec website.
Open Source VHDL Verification Methodology (OS-VVM) Update
April marks the launch of a new website dedicated to Open Source VHDL Verification Methodology. OS-VMM delivers advanced verification test methodologies, including Constrained and Coverage-driven Randomization, as well as Functional Coverage, providing advanced features to VHDL design engineers while enabling them to continue to develop using VHDL.
Aldec, in its continued commitment to provide continued support to the VHDL design community, has helped establish the OS-VMM Forum, where users are encouraged to work together to help grow the methodology. We invite you get involved by visiting the new site’s blog, commenting on articles, and posting your questions and suggestions in the forums. Visit www.osvvm.org for more information, to download the documentation and software package, as well as to participate in future development.
The latest release of ALINT delivered valuable tools for efficient project collaboration and information sharing across your organization. These new tools include:
In addition, we have implemented numerous productivity features based on requests coming from our customers - make sure to leverage all these benefits as soon as the new build is available!
The latest release of Riviera-PRO™ brought enhanced support for verification environments that are constructed with the Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) class library, new SystemVerilog IEEE 1800™-2009 and VHDL IEEE 1076™-2008 constructs, and numerous new features in the Waveform and built-in HDL Editor that make it easier to debug complex SoC designs.
Update 2 for Active-HDL 9.1 was recently released, with major features including Library and Design Flow Manager Updates, as well as Bug Fixes. Release of Update 2 also brings support for following vendor tool versions to Design Flow Manager.
Recently released Active-HDL Student Edition is packed with many new features and enhancements to provide students a robust tool with support for latest language standard and FPGA devices. Major highlights for this release include: