Semiconductor IP News and Trends Blog
Portable Stimulus Coding Contest a Success
Contestants at the Cadence-Accellera Portable Stimulus Specification (PSS) contest during DAC made changes to verification tests in record time.
By John Blyler, Editor, IP Insider
For SOC developers wishing to see the latest version of Accellera’s Portable Stimulus Specification (PSS) in action, the Design Automation Conference (DAC) 2018 was the place to be. PSS establishes a new language and methodology to cover all phases of system-on-chip (SoC) verification process. PSS differs from other verification languages – most noticeably System Verilog and the universal verification methodology (UVM) – in that it defines high-level verification intent. Once that is defined, a verification synthesis engine creates test cases that target various execution environments such as simulation, emulation, hardware prototypes, and physical ASIC devices.
To help educate chip designers about portable stimulus, Cadence and Chipestimate.com held a hands-on contest-styled workshop at the DAC. All participants were given access to a working SoC design (see Figure), the PSS model, and Cadence’s Perspec tool running on laptops. Perspec is a system verifier that helps SoC developer’s complex coverage driven tests for their chip designs.
Each participant had to make small edits to the PSS file to achieve some new use case with the SoC test. Experts were handy to help the contestants work with the tools and language. The person with the fastest daily score was proclaimed the winner, receiving a Raspberry Pi for this accomplishment. Steve Brown, Perspec’s marketing director, served as the final judge for the contest. Nathan Mandelke, marketing director of ChipEstimate.com, provided the IP.
An Eclipse-based, Design and Verification Tools (DVT) tool was provided Cristian Amitroaie of AMIQ. With the tool, contestants were able to edit PSS (DSL, C++, or SLN) code. It was a great demonstration of PSS interoperability.
To learn more about PSS, visit the Accellera Portable Stimulus Specification (PSS) Early Adopter II web page.