Generating hardware assertion checkers: for hardware by Marc Boulé, Zeljko Zilic

By Marc Boulé, Zeljko Zilic

Assertion-based layout is a robust new paradigm that's facilitating caliber development in digital layout. Assertions are statements used to explain homes of the layout (I.e., layout intent), that may be integrated to actively fee correctness in the course of the layout cycle or even the lifecycle of the product. With the looks of 2 new languages, PSL and SVA, assertions have already began to enhance verification caliber and productivity.

This is the 1st publication that offers an “under-the-hood” view of producing statement checkers, and as such offers a special and constant viewpoint on applying assertions in significant parts, equivalent to: specification, verification, debugging, online tracking and layout caliber improvement.

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Additional info for Generating hardware assertion checkers: for hardware verification, emulation, post-fabrication debugging and on-line monitoring

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A property is qualified as a safety property when its failure in a finite trace or path can not be undone by extending the said trace or path. Once the property has failed, no extension of the trace or path can make it hold again. Informally, the expression “nothing bad ever happens” is often cited to help convey the intention behind this type of property. Checking a safety property entails the search for the “bad” thing, and when/if it does materialize, the property is known to have failed. Liveness, on the other hand, is defined as follows.

Checking a safety property entails the search for the “bad” thing, and when/if it does materialize, the property is known to have failed. Liveness, on the other hand, is defined as follows. 4. A liveness property describes an unbounded expectation. A property is qualified as a liveness property when there always exists an extension of a path or trace that can satisfy the given property. Informally, the expression “something good eventually happens” is typically cited to evoke the intentions behind this qualifier.

However, as circuits become more complex, simulation time becomes a bottleneck in dynamic verification. Hardware emulation is becoming an important asset for verification, and is increasingly being used in the industry to alleviate the problem of excessive simulation times [40]. Hardware emulation achieves the traditional dynamic verification goals by loading and executing the design on reprogrammable hardware, typically using programmable logic devices or arrays of processing elements. Once the design is implemented in hardware, the emulator fully exploits the inherent circuit parallelism, as opposed to performing a serial computation in a simulation kernel.

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