Efficient Verification with Portable Stimulus
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Portable Stimulus is an upcoming technique for increasing productivity and quality of verification of digital designs. A single test description shall be used to generate tests between multiple abstraction levels and platforms. Questa inFact is a tool that supports a subset of an upcoming standard from Accellera. The thesis consisted of analyzing the current status and future development of Portable Stimulus. This included conducting a proof of concept through inFact. Generated code from a single description was proven to be used in simulation at IP-, sub-system- and SoC-level in UVM testbenches, as well as with C code running on a CPU. Only the stimulus was portable, meaning frameworks for driving the stimulus had to be created. The current implementation of inFact is limited when compared to the Portable Stimulus specification, as a lot is not yet supported. It was possible to reuse the same test description, and through coverage driven simulation becomes verification more productive and the quality is increased. This is because of the shortened simulation time and the focus on what to test, rather than how. Thus, Portable Stimulus is heading in the right direction, but it still has a long way to go.