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Open-source C++ project offer basics of verification system

Posted: 12 Jul 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:verification system?

After implementing a C/C++ library that provides a basic verification system at three companies where he worked, Mike Mintz decided that there had to be a better way.

So Mintz started a small open-source project, Teal, on the SourceForge open-source network.

"I started it for selfish reasons," Mintz said. "I got tired of re-implementing the same thing over and over."

Teal is a set of six source files and one header file that give the basics of a verification system, including stable random numbers, threading, seamless reg/wire link to Verilog, logging and back door memory access. It encourages C++ verification strategies by providing a set C++ classes that access HDL signals and enable actions based on changes in the values of these signals.

By providing the basics of a verification system, Teal is intended to help verification engineers minimize the probability of hardware functional errors and ensure that hardware meets performance requirements and is usable by software.

Mintz, who emphasized that he is not commercially profiting from the open-source effort, said he knows of four companies currently using Teal, "although there may be more."

One user of Teal is Oasis Semiconductor, a fabless semiconductor company based in Waltham, Mass. Bennet Ih, ASIC design verification lead at Oasis, said he is "totally thrilled" with Teal. Ih said he has developed a lot of C-to-Verilog mixed environments on his own, and was very happy to have discovered Teal because of its rich feature set and compactness.

Ih said Oasis has needed to make only very minor modifications to Teal for its purposes, changing less than 50 lines of code.

"Having developed environments like this at a number of companies, I would never need to develop it from scratch on my own again," Ih said.

Mintz did disclose the identity of other companies that he knows are using Teal, but said that some large and well-known companies are among them.

Mintz has created a Web site for Teal on SourceForge, which features downloads, support and documentation, including an overview presentation and a 100-page users' manual.

Mintz is currently a designer at Freescale Semiconductor at the company's North Andover, Mass. location. He is a 20-year veteran of the semiconductor industry, including experience in software development, management and hardware verification. His work has been generally concentrated around graphics chips, but has worked on ASIC and FPGA verification, from communications to system-on-chips (SOCs).

- Dylan McGrath

EE Times

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