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Freescale was a successful Incisive® simulation CPF low-power user when they decided to step up their game. In November 2013, at CDNLive India, they presented a paper explaining how they improved their ability to find power-related bugs using a more sophisticated verification flow. We were able to catch up with Abhinav Nawal just after his presentation to capture this video explaining the key points in his paper.
Abhinav had already established a low-power simulation process using directed tests for a design with power intent captured in CPF. While that is a sound approach, it tends to focus on the states associated with each power control module and at least some of the critical power mode changes. Since the full system can potentially exercise unforeseen combinations of power states, the directed test approach may be insufficient. Abhinav built a more complete low-power verification approach rooted in a low-power verification plan captured in Cadence® Incisive Enterprise Manager. He still used Incisive Enterprise Simulator and the SimVision debugger to execute and debug his design, but he also added Incisive Metric Center to analyze coverage from his low-power tests and connect that data back to the low-power verification plan. As a result, he was able to find many critical system-level corner case issues, which, left undetected, would have been catastrophic for his SoC. In the paper, Abhinav presents some of the key problems this approach was able to find.
You can achieve results similar to Abhinav. Incisive Enterprise Simulator can generate a low-power verification plan from the power format, power-aware assertions, and it can collect power-aware knowledge. To get started, you can use the Incisive Low-Power Simulation Rapid Adoption Kit (RAK) for CPF available on Cadence Online Support.
Just another happy Cadence low-power verification user!
Adam "The Jouler" Sherer