Welcome to the first TeamMDV blog. We are excited to bring you information, tips, tricks and recommendations all centered around Metric Driven Verification (MDV). To start, here is an interview with Dylan Dobbyn, the verification manager at Teradyne, about their first time experience in implementing MDV. Check out Dylan's recent Chip Design article on "Metric-Driven Verification: The Key to Achieving a New Level of Productivity"
Q: First of all Dylan, thank you for taking the time to articulate to other users your experience in MDV. Let's start with an easy one, tell us a little bit about yourself and Teradyne? A: My pleasure. Teradyne is a test equipment manufacturer based in the Boston area with 1.1B in sales for 2008. Teradyne designs and manufactures the test equipment, which is used primarily by electronics companies. I am the Verification Manager for the Semiconductor Test Division. Q: What were the big reasons why you decided to make a change to MDV? A: Like a lot of companies these days, we were under pressure to cut costs, and at the same time, we were coming out with a new and more complicated chip design for one of our testers. We also wanted to improve our verification environment, so that we could improve both visibility and predictability of the verification process. Measurements are the key to success, and keeping the old process with limited visibility and schedule padding was not an acceptable option. Today's project management requires a predictable process, and we knew we had to do something different than we had been doing in the past.
Q: What made you decide to choice the MDV approach? A: Project managers were clamoring for metrics. Cadence provides metrics. The decision was easy. Additional benefits of streamlining the verification the process turned out to be an added bonus. Q: Can you tell us a little bit about how painful this was given your existing verification environment?
A: We did struggle a bit in getting started. Teradyne products have a long life cycle which translates to a lot of legacy code and environments. Additionally, large projects required 64-bit simulation environments, which was another hurdle to jump. We needed the additional the address and memory space, but had to make sure our code was still able to run properly.
Q: What was the single biggest challenge with this change? A: Our single biggest challenge was upgrading legacy environments to run with the latest product release, which takes full advantage of the MDV features. Specifically, this using Incisive Enterprise Simulator (IES) and Incisive Enterprise Manager (IEM). The tool upgrade was actually more challenging then implementing the new MDV methodology, which actually went pretty smooth.
Q: What do you think the benefits will be in the end? A: Predictability of course, but also efficiency. As we rely more on constrained random testing, improved methods are important to keep the simulation resources and debug times under control. We also ended up with a plan based flow, which we did not have previously. We intend on leveraging this solution to not only improve the robustness of the reusable plan, but also to reduce our total verification time even further with even more automation. Additional information about MDV can be found at the following locations: