Electronic Design

Debug And Design Exploration Tool Finds Out What Makes SoCs Tick

Debugging and verifying system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs is taking an ever-larger portion of overall design cycles. A behavior-based debug system known as Verdi aims to minimize debug cycles by revealing the true behavior of digital IC designs.

This tool combines behavior-based debugging capabilities with the traditional debug features of the earlier Debussy tool. It's built on top of the Design Knowledge Architecture at Debussy's core. Verdi adds mathematical analysis, temporal visualization, and symbolic exploration to the mix.

Verdi's application of synthesis and formal verification methods results in thorough analysis of cause-and-effect relationships. Users can visualize design behavior over time and explore alternate behaviors within the Verdi environment.

The tool automatically infers the logic functions of a design from its register-transfer-level or gate-level descriptions. It interprets simulation results to generate an internal model of actual design behavior over time. This replaces the manual correlation of signal events with logic structures traditional debugging approaches require.

New visualization capabilities let Verdi show how control and data flow through the logic with graphical views. Users can isolate active logic paths to gain insight into the root causes of specific design behavior, both expected and unexpected. It also automatically traces signals back through time to show how an unfamiliar design works.

An open, interoperable system, Verdi shares the same application programming interfaces that have enabled Debussy to be integrated with popular logic simulators and formal verification and analysis tools as well as other third-party design tools for a tightly integrated verification and debug flow.

Verdi is a bundled product that combines its behavior-based debugging abilities with Debussy's core features. It ships in July for Unix and Linux platforms. An annual subscription license supporting Verilog, VHDL, and mixed-language designs starts at $14,000.

Novas Software Inc., www.novas.com; (408) 467-7888.

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