We have created the Verification Horizons newsletter to provide concepts, values, methodologies and examples to assist with the understanding of what advanced functional verification technologies can do and how to most effectively apply them.
- Visibility to hit market windows on schedule
- Reduce the volume of data and track project progress
- Manage the risk to keep resources on track
- Reduce maintenance and improve automation
- Jump start the debug process
When verification is not under control, project schedules slip, quality is jeopardized and the risk of re-spins soars. What’s required is a common platform and environment that provides all parties – system architects, software engineers, designers and verification specialists – with real-time visibility into the project. And not just to the verification plan, but also to the specifications and the design, both of which change over time. There are three dimensions to any IC design project: the process, the tools and the data. Questa® offers a comprehensive approach to the problem with its verification management option that handles all within a scalable and modular solution.
Questa’s verification management capabilities are built upon the Unified Coverage Database (UCDB). The UCDB captures any source of coverage data generated by verification tools and processes; Questa and ModelSim use this format natively to store code coverage, functionality coverage and assertion data in all supported languages. UCDB also enables the capability to capture information about the broader verification context and process, including which verification tools were used and even which parameters constrained these tools. The result is a rich verification history, one that tracks user information about individual test runs and also shows how tests contribute to coverage objects.
Verification is driven by requirements concerning both the functionality of the final product and the intended methods of testing this functionality. By providing tools to import verification or test plans and then guide the overall process, Questa verification management helps deal with this complexity and shepherd a project toward electronic closure. It also provides the ability to store snapshots of data across the lifetime of a project, which helps to concentrate efforts where they are most needed.
Test Plan Tracking
Projects are tracked in spreadsheets or documents created by a range of applications, from Microsoft Excel and Word to OpenOffice Calc andWrite. So it’s critical that a verification management tool be open to a range of file formats, a basic feature of Questa, which is built on the premise that a user should be able to use any capture tool to record and manage the plan. This document becomes the guide for the verification process. Within Questa’s user interface the plan’s data can be sorted, filtered and subjected to complex queries such as which tests are most effective at testing this particular feature or which set of tests needs to be run to get the best coverage for a modified instance of the design.
Understanding the progress of a dynamic verification process requires an ability to view coverage data. Accordingly, a verification management tool needs to provide the means to manage, view and analyze this data, whether it’s generated from a single test or the combination of a complete regression run. Just producing and managing individual snapshots of coverage data can be difficult due to the huge amounts of data involved. Questa UCDB affords this ability, reducing to a single database the regression data from multiple snapshots and then querying this database for trends.
Verification Run Management
Questa’s verification run manager is one such solution, bringing consistency to a project through heavy doses of automation. This improves time to coverage and time to next bug, and enhances the ability of dispersed project teams to accurately estimate the time to completion. Additionally, its integration with Jenkins furthers these benefits by providing an intuitive web dashboard to observe and analyze project results and trends.
Verification Results Analysis
Questa’s verification results analysis speeds the ability to address failures identified during a regression, which helps a verification project stay on schedule. The technology brings together the results of multiple verification runs, assisting in grouping, sorting, triaging and filtering messages over the complete set of regression tests. The results analysis can be triggered automatically and used by the run manager, allowing the results of a given test to control if and what should be saved in a triage database to allow further analysis. Questa Verification Management is the most effective and modular solution available in the industry today. It manages all three dimensions of the verification process, providing incremental improvements to any verification environment as well as the ability to manage the complete flow.
Verification management means balancing various tools and techniques to get to closure, often with an infrastructure built on home-grown scripting and lots of manual maintenance. And as verification complexity ascends, so too does the need for a more flexible automated solutions.
The Questa® Verification Run Manager (VRM0 plugin gives Jenkins the ability to utilize regression run results trough the Questa VRM sytem, in addition to managing and runing their regressions through Jenkins.
Learn more about Jenkins and Questa® VRM Plug-in at the Verification Academy.Learn More at the Verification Academy