Verification review service speeds up chip designs

Verification review service speeds up chip designs

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

ARM has been working with Mentor on a functional verification review service for designers of complex chips onleading edge process technologies.

Verification for a complex chip can consume more than half of the total time spent on a typical SoC design, so the ARM Design Reviews programme offers the expertise of Mentor’s top functional verification engineers to help customers optimize their Arm-based System-on-Chip (SoC) designs. This is increasingly important for large designs on the latest 7nm and 5nm process technologies but is suitable across the whole range of designs using ARM cores.  

The service is intended to help chip design teams to find the right balance of quality, advanced capability and cost for the IP at the RTL level. The reviews can help customers enhance key design elements, including signal connectivity, system coherency, correct implementation and system performance.

“Mentor and Arm have a strong track record of successful collaboration, and we are pleased to continue this long and fruitful relationship,” said Sam George, vice president, Mentor Consulting. “Mentor’s expertise in RTL design, combined with Arm’s extensive system design expertise, provides an invaluable wealth of knowledge for our shared customers.”

The efficient management of IC functional verification cycles grows increasingly critical as more complex designs are required to meet the demands of end-applications within the automotive, industrial equipment, medical and Internet of Things markets. The Arm and Mentor collaboration is intended to help mutual customers overcome these challenges by helping to optimize and dramatically shorten verification cycles.

“Verification is a crucial part of the SoC design process that cannot be overlooked,” said Ciarán Dunne, vice president and general manager, Partner Enablement at Arm. “Our RTL Verification Design Review service offers the shared insight and expertise of Arm and Mentor, enabling customers to further improve the quality of their designs while shortening design cycles, time-to-market and reducing project risk.”

The service has three elements for a verification strategy, plan and closure review.

As part of the Verification Strategy Review, Arm and Mentor will provide developers with guidance on proven verification techniques that will efficiently uncover design issues and bugs prior to project completion. This also involves an audit of your current verification process, along with a review of your testbench architecture, in the context of your architectural specification.

The second stage will explore in detail the design features to be verified and how the verification strategies employed will ensure they are exercised in accordance with the design specification. This will involve a look into the detailed design specification, in addition to a comprehensive review of our partner’s verification plan.

In the final stage, the implementation of the metrics described in the verification plan/requirements document will be analysed to ensure they meet their designed intent. Reviews will then be conducted of the verification environment and simulations results.

A Design Review report will be provided at the end of the process, giving a detailed account of the issues, recommendations, and observations made during the review process.

“One of the biggest advantages of using Arm is our proven verification models and EDA tool flows, and Arm’s review offering covers every step of the design process, from architecture to physical implementation and power management. Our new RTL Verification Design Review service in collaboration with Mentor has been created to further improve the quality of your design, while shortening design cycles, time-to-market and reducing project risk,” said Dunne.

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