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Formal tool verifies Amba bus protocol

Posted: 03 Nov 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:amba ahb bus protocol? arm? averant? solidahb? functional verification tool?

Promising a fast, exhaustive check of interface designs using the Amba AHB bus protocol, ARM Ltd and Averant Inc. have announced the SolidAHB static functional verification tool. It will be sold by Averant as an add-on to that company's Solidify property verification tool.

Ramin Hojati, president of Averant, said SolidAHB is basically a graphical user interface and a set of verification scripts that work with Solidify. The verification scripts came from ARM, while the GUI was developed by Saros Technology, Averant's U.K. distributor, he said.

While there are tools that help users verify the Amba bus protocol in simulation, they require the generation of test vectors and long run-times, Hojati said. "We have a static tool that runs very fast, on the order of minutes," he said. "Once a rule is proven, you know for a fact that the interface will not violate this rule. It's a significantly better way of verifying Amba protocols than simulation."

The tool could help introduce chip designers to formal methods, Hojati said. "We've been trying to get property verification to be mainstream. This allows us to hit a much bigger market."

Designers could potentially verify their Amba bus interfaces with Solidify alone, but with SolidAHB they get property sets and the verification scripts that configure the tool, Hojati noted.

To use SolidAHB, designers must have their Verilog code, along with mapping that links signals in a design to the nomenclature in the ARM Amba specification. Designers must also specify some assumptions about their design, Hojati said, acknowledging the tool is "not 100 percent pushbutton."

SolidAHB will ship in December at $25,000 for a one-year subscription. It requires Solidify, which starts at $40,000 per year. Averant plans to release a standalone version next year that will not require Solidify.

- Richard Goering

EE Times

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