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Verplex tool now checks data paths

Posted: 02 Jun 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:conformal dp? formal verification? conformal logic equivalence checker? synthesis tool? alu?

Formal-verification tool vendor Verplex Systems Inc. has released an add-on to its Conformal Logic Equivalence Checker that allows the tool to verify complex data path circuitry.

Tony Larson, VP of marketing at Verplex, said the Conformal Data Path (DP) add-on is simpler to use than the high-performance synthesis and data path tools commonly enlisted for arithmetic data path optimizations.

"In the past, verification engineers would have to jump through hoops identifying boundaries around where different operators might exist, and spend a lot of time creating techniques just to get a complete, exhaustive proof," said Larson. "Now we have automated that."

The tool flattens data path structures without requiring designers to identify boundaries and architectures, Larson said.

High-performance synthesis tools often merge operators and then flatten them to produce faster and smaller circuits, but reading these operators has been a difficult task, Larson said. "Previously, this was a showstopper for equivalence checking," he said. "Conformal DP looks for ALU and merged operator-type errors, and will call in targeted algorithms to address those areas. Conformal DP will give complete results on merged operators to formally prove them."

An advanced pipelining-verification feature checks a pipeline's implementation against its design, and a "carry-save" verification feature verifies circuits containing carry-save transformations. Larson said that data path synthesis can introduce such transformations during optimization for sequences of adders, multipliers and registers. Their appearance can cause register-matching problems that prevent equivalence checking from working properly, he said.

- Michael Santarini

EE Times

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