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Video Killed The Reference Manual Star

Comments(4)Filed under: Functional Verification, Formal Analysis, metric driven verification (MDV), PSL, SVA, ABV, MDV, IEV, formal, IFV, assertions, ABVIP, simulation, formal verification, assertion-based verification, videos, Assertion-Driven Simulation, YouTube, Axel Scherer

[Preface: recall the melody of the Buggles' 1979 hit "Video Killed the Radio Star" as you read the following]

Q: What is your favorite pastime?

A: Reading reference manuals!

No?  Really?

OK -- with all due respect to our Tech Pubs team, virtually no one wants to sit down and read reference manuals if they can help it.  And in a perfect world, it should not be required in the first place.  Alas, our world is not perfect, but that should not preclude us from striving toward Nirvana.

And thus, I assert that for many, a good picture says more than a thousand words.  It is a cliché, but it is true. However, even the most complete infographic might not always be sufficient to convey a concept or feature - particularly if you do not have someone providing verbal context to the picture.  Thus, moving pictures -- videos -- can convey certain concepts more effectively and will have a longer lasting (memorization) effect than a reference manual.

Hence, Team Verify has produced the following series of short, focused videos on various aspects of formal and ABV techniques.  All of them are short (around 5 minutes) and focused -- we've posted the "Introduction to Assertion-Driven Simulation" to give you an exact idea of what you can expect. The rest of the videos require a Support login ID only.

Assertion Driven Simulation
Introduction to Assertion-Driven Simulation (YouTube-based sample)
Soft Constraints in Assertion-Driven Simulation
Dead Ends in Assertion-Driven Simulation
Seeds in Assertion-Driven Simulation

Tool Basics
Introduction to Interactive Properties
Local Property Distribution
Property Distribution using LSF
Engine Distribution
Introduction to Cutpoints
Introduction to Initialization
Localization Abstraction & Halo

Introduction to Cranks

Methodology and Flows
Introduction to Formal Scoreboarding
Introduction to the Coverage Unreachability flow


Axel Scherer
Solution Architect
For Team Verify

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/teamverify, @teamverify



By Colin Marquardt on January 26, 2012
I, for one, prefer written documentation like reference manuals *every single
time* over videos or webinars.  I can read them at my own leisure
and speed, the amount of marketing fluff is low, I don't harrass
colleagues with the audio (nor do I have to search for headphones),
can grep through them and can copy code.
Also, I don't need to find a way to watch them in the first place -
my workstation has a rather oldish Linux on it, mostly because EDA
vendors are so conservative with what versions they support.
You guys actually *have* well-written docs like
verif_docs/interface_verif_primer1_5.pdf (pretty hard to find
though!), but those best documents are from 2006 and could use an

By Team Verify on January 26, 2012
Thanks for your comment, Colin!
Indeed, each engineer has their own preferences for getting product information in general.   And as you note reuse of code examples is particularly well supported by written docs vs. video.  Conversely, well executed video demos can really highlight use models / processes that can be challenging to capture in words and static screen shots.  Hence, we try to strike a balance, and we assure you that we are not giving up on written documentation – we are just extending the ways we provide information.
As for the doc refresh cycle: thank you for pointing out area(s) that need updating!  Given the volume of documentation we support, we appreciate user  feedback on areas that are fine as-is, and those that need a refresh (beyond the obvious changes called for when tool enhancements are introduced).

By Colin Marquardt on January 27, 2012
Thanks for your quick answer.
Do you think it's better to open a support ticket about the Interface Verification Primer?
Actually, that would be two tickets: one asking for an update, the other about the "findability" of that document (e.g., I don't get a search hit with either the known full title nor the file name on support.cadence.com).

By Team Verify on January 27, 2012
You're welcome!  
Yes, please do file the two separate support tickets as tickets from the outside world/customers generally get a higher priority, and given the diversity of the issues there is a probability two different people will be assigned the respective issues (i.e. a Technical Writer would update the doc, whereas an R&D person would likely review the search issue.)

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