0-In Archer 2.2 Improves Efficiency of Coverage-Driven Verification

5/19/2004 - 0-In Design Automation, the Assertion-Based Verification Company, announced version 2.2 of its Archer VerificationTM system, which continues the 0-In tradition of combining the best tools with the best engineered methodologies. Version 2.2 improves the efficiency of coverage-driven verification (CDV) methodologies, enabling productivity improvements for design and verification teams working on multi-million gate system-on-chip (SoC) and ASIC designs. These enhancements to the Archer Verification system allow users to more accurately measure total coverage of a design, including functional, transactional and structural coverage, and to understand how to reach coverage closure.

The Archer Verification system (version 2.2) has been upgraded with the following features:

"Our focus is on delivering best practices for applying advanced technologies in easy-to-use, high-value solutions," said Steve White, president and CEO of 0-In. "The Archer Verification system leverages and integrates with today's methodologies to help our customers find more bugs faster. Assertions and formal verification provide critical capabilities that boost the efficiency of coverage-driven simulation today by improving both observability and controllability."

Highlight Transaction Coverage and Corner Cases Efficiently
Archer-CDV version 2.2 includes enhanced coverage reporting and analysis of transaction and structural coverage from simulation that allows users to quickly understand the types of transactions and corner cases exercised by simulation. In particular, users can rapidly identify "coverage holes" in their environment - verification scenarios that were not exercised but represent significant functionality or important test cases.

Archer-CDV leverages the structural coverage information that is included automatically with the CheckerWare® library of assertion checkers. This industry-leading library of functional verification checkers makes users more productive by simplifying the specification of both functional checking assertions and structural coverage monitoring in a single encapsulated element. The CheckerWare library consists of standard interface and protocol monitors, high-level functionality checkers and low-level register-transfer level (RTL) structural checkers.

Measure Coverage for Open Standards
The assertion synthesis capability of Archer-CDV also has been enhanced to provide assertion and structural coverage information for standard assertion formats, including PSL and OVL. For PSL, pre-conditions of an assertion are monitored for activation and coverage reports generated. This allows users to understand the extent of checking performed by their PSL assertions.

For OVL, the assertion synthesis capability of Archer-CDV now provides structural coverage monitors for elements based on the corresponding CheckerWare element (which has built-in structural coverage). This allows OVL users to obtain implementation-specific corner case monitoring. For example, in the assert_win_change checker, coverage monitoring logic is created to detect whether events have occurred at the start and end times of the time window specified in the assertion.

Target Coverage Holes with Formal Analysis
Archer-ABV (the full assertion-based verification product that includes static and dynamic formal verification) has been enhanced in version 2.2 to target simulation coverage points using exhaustive formal analysis. One of the most difficult tasks in a coverage-driven verification methodology is discovering how to fill coverage holes identified by coverage measurements. Because coverage holes are frequently difficult to exercise, verification requires a complex combination of input sequences and precise timing of events. In other cases, coverage points are impossible to stimulate with legal inputs, so manual analysis is simply wasted looking for a non-existent sequence.

With the target coverage feature of Archer-ABV, exhaustive formal analysis can be applied to directly find sequences of legal inputs that can exercise coverage points. The formal analysis also can find and report on coverage points that can never be reached with legal input sequences.

This feature fills a critical gap in current CDV methodologies - how to reach unexercised coverage points efficiently. Until now, this usually involved difficult manual crafting of complex test scenarios or extremely long and open-ended pseudo-random simulations. With Archer-ABV, users can quickly apply computing power to find and report the critical input sequence in simulation. This industry-leading capability is enabled by Archer-ABV's unique ability to guarantee that formal analysis results will match simulation at all times.

Integrate Structural Coverage with Verisity's VPA Solutions
Archer Verification version 2.2 also contains the ability to combine structural coverage information with functional coverage information in Verisity's VPA solutions, including the SpeXsimTM verification system and Specman Elite®. This is achieved through an integration with Verisity's Coverage and Assertion Interface (CAI). The information that is provided to the SpeXsim and Specman Elite coverage tools includes structural coverage from CheckerWare and OVL, transaction information in CheckerWare monitors and assertion coverage information for PSL. The coverage information can be used for total coverage management using reporting, analysis, and simulation ranking tools.

Pricing and Availability
Version 2.2 of the Archer Verification system will be demonstrated in Booth #3243 at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) in San Diego, June 7-11, and will ship to customers starting in June, 2004. North American list prices remain unchanged for all components of the system: Archer-CDV $50,000; Archer-SF $60,000; and Archer-ABV $120,000.

About 0-In
0-In Design Automation, Inc. (pronounced "zero-in") develops and supports functional verification products that help verify multi-million gate application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and system-on-chip (SoC) designs. The company delivers a comprehensive assertion-based verification (ABV) solution built on industry standards that provides value throughout the design and verification cycle - from the block level to the chip and system levels. Twelve of the 15 largest electronics companies have adopted 0-In tools and methodologies in their integrated circuit (IC) design verification flows. 0-In was founded in 1996 and is based in San Jose, Calif. For more information, see http://www.0-in.com.

0-In® and CheckerWare® and Archer VerificationTM are trademarks or registered trademarks of 0-In Design Automation, Inc.

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