Newsletter content

1. New Forums & Blogs For Specmaniacs & "Trailblazers"
2. New Team Specman Blog Entry:  "Using the Enterprise Planner GUI to quickly create and manage e functional coverage"
3. Have you heard of OVM e?
4. Verification IP Portfolio E-x-p-a-n-s-i-o-n Continues
5. Incisive 8.2 Technology Update

1. New Forums & Blogs For Specmaniacs & "Trailblazers"

Recent visitors to the refreshed Cadence.com website can't help but notice that Cadence has carved out a whole section of the main home page and dedicated it to the "Community".  Inside are two main sections of interest:

1 - The Community Forums: Organized by major flows in the D&V process, this area is the successor to the popular "cdnusers.org" site, and naturally there is a section devoted entirely to "Functional Verification": http://www.cadence.com/community/forums/30.aspx

As you will see, there are numerous threads on a wide range of verification topics, and from the responses we've seen since the re-launch of the site, quite a few power users monitor these threads and are eager to answer questions.

2 - The blogs: Cadence employees and product teams can now host their own blogs, and as you would expect the Verification Team has jumped at the chance to further expand our communications with the verification world.  Some bloggers that are familiar to many of you include:

Mike Stellfox
Focus: Verification Methodology of all types
http://www.cadence.com/community/posts/mstellfox.aspx 

Joe Hupcey
Focus: Verification trends, events, observations, and occasional product news. 
http://www.cadence.com/community/posts/jvh3.aspx

Adam Sherer
Focus: OVM
http://www.cadence.com/Community/posts/Adam-Sherilog.aspx 

Jason Andrews
Focus: System-level verification & validation, and hardware / software co-verification (including updates on Trailblazer program favorites like ISX and TBA)
http://www.cadence.com/Community/posts/jasona.aspx

And of greatest potential interest to Specmaniacs, the new blog from the Specman team devoted exclusively to e and Specman:
http://www.cadence.com/Community/members/teamspecman.aspx

More about the Team Specman blog:
Team Specman has launched this blog to serve up technical tips, tricks, examples, and observations about developments in IEEE 1647 "e" language-related technologies, methodologies, Specman core engines, and the language itself.  The team intends to make this blog VERY technical; including code examples in as many posts as possible.  Additionally, they are inviting "guest bloggers" from Specman R&D to give you some peaks at what goes on under-the-hood, Application Engineers from the Cadence Field organization to share what new trends that are seeing in their territories, and even true Specmaniacs to share their ideas. 

Note: this blog is being put out there to complement all of the other fine online e language & Specman-related resources, such as the venerable Specman Yahoo group (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/specman/), the IEEE 1647 Working Group (http://ieee1647.org), and of course the Cadence Functional Verification forums mentioned above.

Logistical Note:
All of the forums, blogs, and even individual threads and sub-pages of are all "RSS enabled".  This means that you can subscribe to any of these resources via your favorite "feed reader", and keep track of all the new issues and ideas discussed on these pages. 

Fortunately, this is a very easy process - just look for the RSS icon  and click on it to load the feed into you reader tool.  Once subscribed, all new articles will automatically be picked up by your reader tool as soon as they are published.

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2. New Team Specman Blog Entry: "Using the Enterprise Planner GUI to quickly create and manage e functional coverage"

Many of you saw a brief introduction to the new "Enterprise Planner" included inside Enterprise Manager in last fall's ClubT or Incisive Seminars.  While we were able to demo the main highlights of Enterprise Planner, in the interest of time there were many features that we could only flash a glance at before we had to move on.  Once such feature which is of great interest to Specmaniacs is to use Enterprise Planner's ability to create and manage e functional coverage via the GUI, and thus help you avoid the often  tedious process of manually writing functional coverage code.  Hence, Team Specman has just posted a new blog entry describing this feature: http://www.cadence.com/Community/blogs/fv/archive/2008/12/18/using-the-enterprise-planner-gui-to-quickly-create-and-manage-e-functional-coverage.aspx?postID=13507

Enjoy!

P.S. Yes, this capability will be extended to SystemVerilog eventually.  Please contact Cadence for a briefing on the detailed roadmap for Enterprise Manager and Enterprise Planner.

P.S.S. Do you have a topic that you would like Team Specman to blog about?  Please feel free to contact them at: teamspecman@yahoo.com, or if you are a registered member of the Cadence Community, via the blog site.

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3. Have you heard of OVM e?

Have you heard of OVM? If not, it's the "Open Verification Methodology", the catchiest name in functional verification methodology since, well, eRM.  It seems that for many verification engineers OVM is a synonym with "SystemVerilog verification".  Thus, it might come as a surprise to you that OVM is heavily derived from eRM (and thus in a real sense OVM is already a multi-language architecture, but that's a topic for another article).  As a result, given the growing popularity of OVM, and the fact that over 95% of Specman customers have adopted eRM, the next logical step for the next generation of eRM is to be completely aligned with OVM for SystemVerilog.  Hence, Specman and Methodology R&D have been partnering to create "OVM e".  (FYI to long time Specmaniacs: this is the "eRM 3.0" project with a new name.)

Some highlights of OVM e include:

Backward Compatibility
OVM e is fully compatible to eRM 2.0   In short, eRM users do not have to change a single line of their current code, and they can consider OVM e to be an extension.  In a related note, as opposed to eRM which has compatibility checks, adopting OVM e does not require adopting all of its capabilities.  Users are advised to check out the documentation, see what appeals to them, what suits their current requirements, and adopt accordingly.

Interoperability
As noted above, part of the charter of the OVM e is keeping consistency and alignment with the OVM framework.  This begins with alignment of sequences and message among the various OVM libraries, deals with defining methodology for TLM interface between components, working with the tools on creation of mixed language hierarchy, and more interesting stuff (stay tuned for a future teamspecman blog entry ...)

Built-in ESL Support
There are new ESL system verification capabilities of OVM e are very natural extension of eRM, which to continue enhance the ability to create reusable verification environments.  A nice example of this is the "testflow phases", which is a means to define test activity using well defined phases. The integrator of the system verification environment does not need to know the details of the participating eVCs - all he has to do is define the relationship among the eVCs.  (Example: users can define that the system eVC will start the link phase only after all the interface eVCs are done with their reset.  Or, define that some eVCs are synchronized, hence when one performs reset - all the others should wait until it is done with its reset.)

These points are only some of the new capabilities of OVM e.  More details on OVM e are included in the documentation shipped with Incisive/Specman 8.2.  Additionally, in the near future I will also be posting some background articles on the most popular OVM e capabilities on the new e/Specman-focused blog on Cadence.com: http://www.cadence.com/Community/posts/teamspecman.aspx

In summary, OVM e is the next logical extension of eRM, designed to both improve the ease of use, scalability, and interoperability of Universal Verification Components (UVCs) and testbenches written in the e language.

Efrat Shneydor
Methodology R&D
Cadence Israel
efrat@cadence.com

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4. Verification IP Portfolio E-x-p-a-n-s-i-o-n Continues

In October Cadence dramatically expanded its Verification IP (VIP) portfolio to over 30 high-quality components for our customers to use. Since then Cadence has announced even more new protocols to be delivered.  These include the extremely popular USB 3.0, PCI Express 3.0, and MIPI.  Cadence customers continue to find that Cadence has the broadest VIP portfolio and the deepest since our VIP best addresses their predictability, productivity, and quality needs.

The new VIP landing page lists the 30+ protocols supported by Cadence VIP and includes links to the VIP datasheets. Cadence VIP is also listed on www.chipestimate.com

Class Based OVM UVCs Now in Use on Over 22 Projects
Cadence VIP is delivering class based SV OVM support now. This enables customers to take advantage of Cadence UVC's superior value independent of their testbench language. Customers throughout the world from Silicon Valley to Bangalore are now effectively using the class based OVM interface.
These customers are typically attracted by the Compliance Management System (CMS) with its built-in support for Metric Driven Verification.  CMS is a highly differentiated capability since it automates compliance verification.  Recall that CMS is included at no additional charge with all Cadence UVCs. 

News from the MIPI Front
The Mobile Industry Processor Interface standards body is fast moving into implementation for the MIPI Camera and Display Serial interfaces, finalizing spec revisions for SLIMbus and UniPro, and driving new standards for M-PHY and DigRF.  And with the announcement of our complete set of MIPI VIP, Cadence is in lock step with these important developments in the Mobile industry segment!
Joel Huloux, MIPI Alliance Chair, says, "The availability of advanced verification IP will help all MIPI adopters more easily implement our standard. We are pleased with Cadence's participation in the Working Groups, and feel that their collaborative approach to the development of this verification IP has strengthened the MIPI specifications."

CMS + MDV Papers Presented at IP'08 in France
Gabriele Zarri, Cadence Solution Engineer, just presented two papers at IP'08.  The first, "Automating Protocol Compliance Verification Using Metric Driven Verification" explained the unique Compliance Management System capability of Cadence's VIP.  This paper described why CMS is needed and how it works. The second, "Learning Not to Fear PCI Express Compliance Using a Predictable, Metrics Driven Methodology" represents work done by one of our customers, ClearSpeed(tm), based in the UK.  It provides an excellent explanation about the motivation for using a metric-driven approach as well as the excellent results ClearSpeed achieved with the nearly unheard of 95+% functional coverage for PCI Express.

If you'd like more information regarding the use and value of CMS, please see the ClearSpeed CMS Success Story.

Quote:
"Incisive Enterprise Manager works well with the PCI Express Compliance Management System to provide better reporting and tracking of project status," said Mike Bartley, test and verification manager at ClearSpeed. "Each of our team leaders can now confidently report on verification status in all the functional areas of coverage, bug rates and test failures."
-- Mike Bartley, ClearSpeed Test and Verification Manager (Mike is now with VA partner TVS Solutions)

USB 3.0 Will Be Pervasive
USB 3.0, known as SuperSpeed USB, will increase throughput by 10X and decrease power consumption by up to 50%.  We expect great demand with rapid adoption starting in 2009.  To keep pace Cadence is taking a leading position in supporting the new SuperSpeed USB protocol with VIP.  First early access (EA) deliveries were shipped in December 2008.

We are also very active with the USB.org standards body and attended the USB SuperSpeed Developer's Conference held in November.  500+ developers attended!  We presented a proposal that USB.org create a pre-silicon compliance program and adopt Cadence's USB 3.0 vPlan as the basis for compliance checking.

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5. Incisive 8.2 Technology Update

To receive a copy of the Incisive 8.2 Technology update, please send an email to marketing_euro@cadence.com with the subject "Incisive 8.2 Technology Update".

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