In Silicon Valley there is a popular fitness program called "Boot Camp" where people volunteer to be run through rigorous exercises by a demanding instructor, analogous to what armies around the world do bring new recruits up to the desired physical fitness standards. Team Verify has a similar "boot camp" program where we rapidly train engineers in Formal and assertion-based verification (ABV) techniques. Like the fitness-oriented boot camp, even people who thought they were in shape before arriving to camp come away impressed, and sometimes humbled, at what the program reveals in themselves and in the blocks and systems they are verifying -- or thought were already verified.
Consider a recent example at a Formal verification boot camp held at a customer in Asia. The client gave us several existing IP blocks to use for training -- familiar blocks were chosen so the focus would be on learning some new Formal and ABV methodologies, and not on having to decode the function of the block itself. As such, expectations for finding bugs were relatively low since all of these blocks had been thoroughly verified by dynamic simulation techniques. Additionally, some IP blocks were from a trusted 3rd party providers, and some were already taped out and in production.
However, within the week of training, previously undiscovered bugs were found in all of the blocks! Specifically, 10 bugs were found in the 4 selected designs, which came as a big surprise since they were all pre-verified by simulation. In parallel, the engineers learned the whole Formal and ABV flow: from planning and verification strategies, how to target focus areas, and assertion coding.
The moral(s) of the story:
- The engineers learned Formal and ABV on real designs, making the experience personally meaningful, and economically important given the number of new bugs they found.
- Even if your simulation-oriented verification is in good shape, Formal and ABV boot camp can build on this foundation to get your verification all "diesel".
If holding an ABV boot camp at your site is of interest to you, please contact your local Cadence Field office, or reach out to Team Verify via the "Contact" link at the top of this page to get in shape today!
Principal Solutions Engineer
for Team Verify
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/teamverify, @teamverify