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Accelerated Code and Functional Coverage Using Palladium XP

Comments(0)Filed under: Palladium XP, IMC, Cadence Online Support, IES, Accelerated SV Covergrooups, Incisive Verification Environment, Accelerated Coverage, support.cadence.com, UXE

Code coverage is an effective tool in the verification process—giving insights into testing completeness as well as identifying highly active or inactive areas of a design. Collecting code coverage in simulation on large designs can be a very time consuming process. Now, code coverage can be collected at emulation speeds in the Palladium XP system.

Eric Melancon, HSV Staff PE, explains through his first application note in the series, Accelerating Code Coverage, that using code coverage on the Palladium XP system is very analogous to using code coverage in the Incisive verification environment. This document walks through the basics of compiling and running designs with code coverage enabled in the Palladium system. It further answers questions about which types of code coverage can be accelerated, and how to enable and configure code coverage generation using Palladium XP.

Eric further elaborates that the coverage results generated on the Palladium XP system are collected in the standard Incisive database format. The Palladium UXE software does not provide any special tools for viewing or analyzing the coverage results. It instead leverages the rich set of tools and techniques available in the Incisive environment. However, Palladium XP users may not be familiar with those coverage viewing and analysis tools available in Incisive.

Eric helps us understand the above through his second app note, Viewing Coverage Data with IMC, by describing how to invoke the IMC tool, how to load coverage databases generated by UXE, and how to analyze the coverage results. It is intended to be a simple and quick tour of the basic functionality available in IMC.

Eric now changes gears a bit towards functional coverage, which is a verification technique incorporating design intent into the verification process. This form of coverage helps us to find answers to functional verification questions like "Have I exercised all allowed operations?" as well as system performance questions like "Is my buffer performing optimally?" One vehicle for incorporating functional coverage into verification is to use the SystemVerilog covergroup construct. The covergroup construct is supported in the Palladium XP system. If covergroups were not supported in accelerated hardware, they would have to be defined and simulated in an external testbench. This would negatively affect performance by having to pull signals from the accelerated portion of the design to the testbench to collect coverage. 

Finally, through this latest app note, How-To Accelerate SystemVerilog Covergroups, Eric tells us that using SystemVerilog covergroups on the Palladium XP system is very analogous to using covergroups in the Incisive verification environment. This app note walks us through the basics of defining, compiling, and running designs containing covergroups on the Palladium. 

Additional how-to documents in this series will explore methodologies for effectively using accelerated coverage on the Palladium.

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Happy Learning!

Sumeet Aggarwal

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