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In my most recent blog post, I talked about the industry vision for portable stimulus as a way to improve verification reuse, automate test creation, and enhance coverage. The Accellera Portable Stimulus Working Group (PSWG) is working hard on a standard to define the reusable input models for the test generation process. As Secretary of the PSWG, I have a front-row seat as this important new verification technology evolves and emerges. It’s an exciting time for the “next big thing” in verification.
There are several indicators that point to the importance of portable stimulus and the amount of attention it is receiving. Many leading companies are using this approach today and having great success, and some of them have published their results at CDNLive events and elsewhere. There have also been many technical talks and tutorials on portable stimulus at industry conferences and workshops, and today I’d live to catch up on four recent DVCon and DVClub events where Cadence and others helped educate the verification community on the latest technology.
Most of you are probably familiar with the Design and Verification Conference and Exhibition (DVCon), which has been held annually in San Jose for many years. It combines a strong technical program with an exhibition so that you can learn about new technologies and then investigate how to get access to them from EDA vendors. Cadence has been a supporter and sponsor of this event for years, working with Accellera to create a better show every time. If you are involved in verification and have to pick just one industry conference, this is the one.
In 2014, DVCon started expanding beyond Silicon Valley to other locations, starting with Europe and India, and adding China next year. All of these events have had a presence for portable stimulus. DVCon Europe 2016 was held in Munich this week, and the program included two relevant tutorials. Larry Melling presented “Model Driven Approach to Software Driven Verification” and discussed how our Perspec System Verifier product provides the industry’s best portable stimulus solution.
Larry also took the lead in organizing an Accellera PSWG tutorial on “How Portable Stimulus Addresses Key Verification, Test Reuse, and Portability Challenges” and presented one of the sections. Speakers from Mentor Graphics, Synopsys, Breker, and Vayavya Labs rounded out the agenda. Attendees learned some of the background and motivation for portable stimulus as the next big step in verification after the UVM, and heard an update on progress toward the standard.
This year’s DVCon India was held in Bangalore September 15-16, and the program featured the same Accellera tutorial, also organized by Larry Melling. The Cadence presenter was Sharon Rosenberg, one of the most active members of the PSWG. Cadence also had a tutorial at DVCon India; Sandeep Gor and Naresh Ramachandran covered “Using Portable Stimulus for SoC Verification as Applied on Mobile, Networking, and Server Designs.” Attendees were able to learn the basics of portable stimulus and then follow with a detailed case study of its usage.
Although perhaps less well known across the industry, the regular DVClub events are very well attended by hands-on verification engineers. They get the chance to network with their peers over lunch and hear a technical presentation or two on a hot verification topic. The series started in Austin about ten years ago but has now expanded to many locations. In North America, organizer Paradigm Works has grown DVClub to 16 annual events. This year, there are four each in Silicon Valley, Austin, and greater Boston plus two in Portland and one each in Research Triangle Park (RTP) and Toronto.
Not surprisingly, portable stimulus has been on the agenda at a number of DVClub meetings. At the most recent event, in Silicon Valley just last week, Dave Brownell from Analog Devices presented “Portable Stimulus: The Next Step in Verification Productivity” to a warm reception. Dave is also an active participant in PSWG and had some very interesting observations. I will discuss his talk in a future blog post. Please note that Dave will be reprising his presentation at the penultimate DVClub of the year on November 8 in Westford, Massachusetts.
DVClub is also active in Europe, where Test and Verification Solutions (TVS) organizes quarterly virtual events. At the most recent, on September 27, Cadence’s Sharon Rosenberg presented “A Model-Based Approach to Software-Driven Verification” and focused on reuse of portable stimulus across verification platforms. Cadence has been a long-time sponsor of DVClub in both North America and Europe as well as more recent events in India and China.
As you can see, portable stimulus is indeed everywhere. You can expect many more talks and tutorials on the topic in upcoming DVCon shows, DVClub events, and of course the Design Automation Conference (DAC). I will keep you up to date on all of our activities here in my blog, so please be sure to subscribe or at least check in on a regular basis.
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