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Synopsys testbench solution increases verification productivity

Posted: 30 Sep 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:synopsys? discovery pioneer-ntb? systemverilog? testbench automation tool? soc?

Synopsys Inc. announced Discovery Pioneer-NTB, a new SystemVerilog testbench automation tool that claims to increase verification productivity and improve the quality of complex SoC and IP designs.

According to the company, Pioneer-NTB enables engineers to deploy advanced verification methodologies using Synopsys' testbench automation, functional coverage, assertion analysis and verification IP technologies with third-party mixed-hardware description language (HDL) simulators. Pioneer-NTB provides easy-to-use connections from its SystemVerilog environment to third-party VHDL, Verilog and mixed-language simulators, allowing verification engineers to adopt a single, standards-based, advanced verification infrastructure in mixed-simulation environments.

"Pioneer-NTB gives customers the opportunity to take advantage of Synopsys' powerful and proven verification technologies using the SystemVerilog standard language," said Manoj Gandhi, SVP and GM of Verification Group at Synopsys. "With Pioneer-NTB, verification teams can deploy the latest methodologies in a mixed-language environment to find more bugs faster with increased productivity, regardless of simulator or design language."

Pioneer-NTB's compilers and engines are built on Synopsys' proven VCS technologies, including Synopsys Native Testbench with support for the IEEE P1800 SystemVerilog and OpenVera hardware verification languages. Engineers using Pioneer-NTB can quickly create highly effective verification environments based on open industry standards with object-oriented programming, advanced data types, constrained-random stimulus, functional coverage and assertions. Its unique architecture, added the company, simultaneously optimizes testbench, functional coverage, assertions and verification IP from the newly announced Synopsys VCS Verification Library into a single high-performance executable that runs with third-party simulators. Testbenches and assertions can be debugged with Pioneer-NTB's intuitive graphical debug and analysis environment.

Additionally, Pioneer-NTB provides full support for Synopsys' Reference Verification Methodology (RVM) to help designers quickly adopt industry best practices for verification. RVM makes the constrained-random stimulus generation, functional coverage, and assertion-based verification techniques used by verification experts available to any SoC or IP development team. It includes a testbench base-class library and defines a layered testbench architecture to speed test development and enable the creation of interoperable components to save time and resources on complex verification projects. RVM also supports both SystemVerilog and OpenVera, and is fully compliant with the Verification Methodology Manual for SystemVerilog.

Pioneer-NTB provides an assertion IP library to help verify complex protocols within the design. The assertion IP library allows designers to perform functional checks during simulation, identify and report protocol violations, and capture assertion coverage data. Additionally, engineers can use the library with Synopsys' Magellan hybrid RTL formal analysis tool to prove complex design properties. Combined with the constrained-random stimulus generation and self-checking capabilities of the VCS Verification Library, the assertion IP library enables design teams to create comprehensive block-level and chip-level verification environments that comply with Synopsys' RVM guidelines to increase design quality and lower development cost.

The assertion IP library includes the following interface and protocol standards: PCI, AMBA 2 AHB and APB, 802.11a-g, AGP and SMIA. Support for additional standards, including PCI-X 2.0, PCI Express, USB 2.0, DDR2, OCP 2.0, LPC and CoreConnect, is planned in future releases of Pioneer-NTB.

Pioneer-NTB and the Vera testbench automation tools will be provided in a single package to current Vera and new Pioneer-NTB users, giving customers the flexibility to use either tool. Pioneer-NTB is currently in limited customer availability, with general availability expected in December 2005.

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