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Tool buffs up regression testing

Posted: 01 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ic regression? verification management? control panel? load sharing facility? job queuing?

Verification-management tool Advanced Verification System (AVS), the first software offering from value-added reseller TeamEDA Inc. that helps speed up IC regression testing, made its debut at the recent Design Automation Conference.

AVS provides a browser interface that serves as a control panel for the verification process, where jobs can be launched, suspended or terminated. It organizes and runs tests, provides various types of reports and can halt the simulation and inform users of any problems.

Launched about a year ago, TeamEDA resells Opteron and Linux servers from Rackable Systems, the load-sharing facility (LSF) job-queuing and load-balancing software from Platform Computing Inc., and reporting software from Open iT Inc. It also provides consulting services. But the company's main mission is to be a software developer, said Guy Haas, TeamEDA president.

AVS was developed by design consultant Scott Nogueira, who has a 20-year history in EDA tool development. After working for in-house CAD groups at Digital Equipment Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc., he became a consultant, and that's where the idea for AVS was born.

"AVS is based on my experience of doing this kind of work frequently at various sites I've gone to," Nogueira said. "I've developed it 10 times over for my customer sites, but there's nothing really like it in the market out there."

Haas said AVS 1.0 is now in use with two customersEnterasys Networks Inc. and TranSwitch Corp. It is ready to use with the concurrent-versions system (CVS) file-management system, ModelSim simulator and LSF, he said. TeamEDA's intent is to add support for Clearcase and Perforce for file management, Sun grid engine for job queuing and other simulators like Synopsys VCS and Cadence NC-Sim.

"Basically, we're taking the execution of your verification suite, helping you organize those tests, firing them off to a batch environment, monitoring the results of your simulation and notifying you of the results," Nogueira said. "The idea is to make engineers more productive in the regression environment." Nogueira said AVS also supports "best practices," such as setting up new CVS working directories for regression runs and making sure that simulation models compile properly.

Much of what AVS does is handled today by in-house scripts, Nogueira said. But those scripts are not as robust or as functional as the AVS package. "Companies also don't want engineers to spend time home-baking these things," he said.

AVS 1.0's browser GUI can monitor jobs remotely. It organizes a "test matrix," which defines all the user's tests and how they run. It initiates the compile process for simulation models, runs simulations and monitors results. If there's a showstopper during a long regression run such as a compiler error, it can call or e-mail the user.

Nogueira said AVS produces "great graphical and tabular reports that have hypertext links." There are real-time session status reports, which update on how the session is going, and historical session reports, which provide session and test data after simulation is completed. Reporting can include code-coverage results.

Haas said that TeamEDA plans to ship the AVS software preloaded onto a Dell SC420 server. TeamEDA can also install it on the customer's server. An annual subscription license is $12,500, including support.

- Richard Goering

EE Times

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