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The complexity and size of mixed-signal designs in wireless, power management, automotive, and other fast growing applications requires continued advancements in a mixed-signal verification methodology. An SoC, in these fast growing applications, incorporates a large number of analog and mixed-signal (AMS) blocks/IPs, some acquired from IP providers, some designed, often concurrently. AMS IP must be verified independently, but this is not sufficient to ensure an SoC will function properly and all scenarios of interaction among many different AMS IP blocks at full chip / SoC level must be verified thoroughly. To reduce an overall verification cycle, AMS IP and SoC verification teams must work in parallel from early stages of the design. Easier said than done! We will outline a methodology than can help.
AMS designers verify their IP meets required specifications by running a testbench they develop for standalone / out of-context verification. Typically, an AMS IP as analog-centric, hierarchal design in schematic, composed of blocks represented by transistor, HDL and behavioral description verified in Virtuoso® Analog Design Environment (ADE) using Spectre AMS Designer simulation. An SoC verification team typically uses UVM SystemVerilog testbech at full chip level where the AMS IP is represented with a simple digital or real number model running Xcelium/DMS simulation from the command line.
Ideally, AMS designers should also verify AMS IP function properly in the context of full-chip integration, but reproducing an often complex UVM SystemVerilog testbench and bringing over top-level design description to an analog-centric environment is not a simple task.
Last year, Cadence partnered with Infineon on a project with a goal to automate the reuse of a top-level testbench in AMS verification. The automation enabled AMS verification engineers to automatically configure setup for verification runs by assembling all necessary options and files from the AMS IP Virtuoso GUI and digital SoC top-level command line configurations. The benefits of this method were:
For more details, please see Infineon’s CDNLlive presentation.