Electronic Design

Testbench Technology Shores Up Simulator

The latest VCS simulator release from Synopsys brings the tool deeper into the verification world. A cornerstone of the company's Discovery verification platform, VCS 7.1 is enhanced with support for the same constraint-solver engines found in Synopsys' Vera testbench automation tool. Other additions include support for object-oriented testbench architectures and advanced data types.

Thanks to these enhancements, VCS verification engineers can create and run constrained-random testbenches using a single tool. Overall verification runtimes are improved by up to five times, including simulation of the design, testbench, and assertions, compared with standalone testbench tools working alongside VCS.

The multiple constraint-solver engines now built into VCS simultaneously analyze all user-specified constraints to rapidly generate random stimulus. That stimulus is used to simulate the design for corner-case behavior. The engines will find a solution to user constraints, if one exists, while minimizing constraint conflicts.

In addition to the many testbench constructs VCS already supports, it now natively supports a host of other new testbench technologies. These include object-oriented programming, which enables designers to create a reusable and extendable testbench infrastructure.

VCS also supports advanced data types, such as dynamic and associative arrays. It can generate random streams, which can in turn create random combinations of transactions or microprocessor instructions. This capability lets users verify the design under numerous operating scenarios that are difficult to create manually.

The enhancements to VCS are available at no additional cost to existing customers. A one-year technology subscription license costs $25,480.


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