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Incisive Enterprise Simulator: Low-Power Verification at Warp Speed

Comments(0)Filed under: IES, funtional verification, Incisive, Low-power, CPF

Since your circuit always runs at low-power, your verification should too.  To get that "always-on" low-power verification, Incisive Enterprise Simulator (IES) uniquely verifies low-power behaviors natively.  In some cases that can result in tests that run faster with power analysis on than with power analysis off - engage the warp engine!

IES introduced the most comprehensive native-compiled, low-power analysis features in 2007.  Using the CPF power intent information, IES can verify behaviors such as shutdown, standby (sleep), isolation, state retention, voltage corruption, and power modes.  In addition, it can also automatically generate assertions (SVA or PSL) to check for these behaviors.

When IES simulates these behaviors it does so through its unique native-compiled engine so that no PLI calls are needed.  This enables the warp speed in two ways - it provides less drag on the RTL engine and enables unique optimizations not available through PLI.  Since PLI is a generic simulator API, applications that attach through it are subject to additional run-time checking that slows the engine while the native application is trusted by the simulator so that it can run faster.  That trust goes on to enable warp speed because the low-power application can instruct IES to not simulate the shutdown parts of the circuit, during the time that they are shutdown, resulting in less circuit to run and higher simulator speeds.  For circuits with major blocks shutdown, the result is a simulation that runs faster with power verification turned on than turned-off.  PLI-based applications just can't compete.

While all this speed is nice, pin-pointing your low-power bugs is even better.  IES is also unique here with low-power debug capabilities in SimVision.  Looking at figure 1 you can see how SimVision

 

LP SimVision Signal Traces
                                                                      Figure 1

 

marks signals in isolation and power down modes.  It also automatically maps power related signals into the waveform window and collects all of the power domain information into a handy sidebar window as shown in figure 2.

 

LP SimVision Sidebar
                                                                    Figure 2

 

SimVision also provides a power mode window that shows all of the power modes in the chip and shows the effect of voltage ramping when domains change voltage.

 

power_mode_simvision_screenshot
                                                                     Figure 3

 

You can see a demo of these capabilities in this related blog.

With warp speed, you make every test in your regression both a functional _and_ and low-power test.  Lower power, higher quality.  Isn't that what it's all about?

 

=Your genIES

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