Electronic Design

Verification Language Now Open For Business

Finding tools and IP for hardware verification has just gotten easier. Synopsys Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., has kicked off its Vera Open Source Initiative by making its Vera hardware verification language an open-source language. Over 20 EDA, IP, and system-on-a-chip (SoC) design firms have endorsed the OpenVera language and the overall initiative.

SoC design teams, verification teams, and EDA tool developers can access OpenVera by downloading the Language Reference Manual from Synopsys' Web site (www.synopsys.com). The language also can be found at www.open-vera.com. There are no licensing fees. Users have unrestricted access to the language and documentation.

Functional verification of hardware is a resource-intensive task that can take up to 70% of an SoC development project. Part of the verification bottleneck stems from testbench creation, which can be more complex than designing the hardware itself. Designers have turned to optimized verification languages that offer the high level of abstraction and features necessary to successfully verify the functionality of complex SoCs.

Although this market is growing, third-party EDA tool vendors have hesitated to build complementary tools around these proprietary languages. Synopsys hopes that Vera's opening will speed the adoption of a common hardware-verification language, enabling EDA vendors to take up the challenge of hardware verification tools.

OpenVera is characterized by Synopsys as easy to learn while significantly improving productivity for design and verification engineers. The company also says the language's assertion-definition mechanism is easy to use and powerful in its ability to create real-time, self-checking tests. OpenVera offers new ways for generating pseudorandom reactive tests controlled by functional-coverage objects as well.

In the Vera Open Source Initiative, Synopsys will act as the managing entity. The community of OpenVera users will then enhance the language. As the managing entity, Synopsys engineers will add changes back into the standard and release them in a timely fashion in future revisions.

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