Category Archives: Hardware Verification

T&VS Bring V&V Expertise to Innovate UK Funded Autonomous Commerical Vehicles Project

Dubbed “RoboPilot”, the project will see Charge Automotive lead a consortium, including T&VS, to bring autonomous racing technology to the light commercial vehicle market and demonstrate SAE level 4 autonomy.

RoboPilot features in the second stream of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV2) projects that were recently awarded £31m of Innovate UK led funding.  The CAV2 projects are focused in the areas of vehicle energy reduction and air quality improvements.

T&VS will work to accelerate the ‘safety’ components of the consortiums vision, working with partners on the verification and validation of the complex cyber physical systems involved in autonomous vehicle deployment.

RoboPilot combines input from sensors around the vehicle such as radars, cameras, ultrasonics and lidars (light sensors to measure the distance to a target object) with mapping, artificial intelligence and fleet information, which is then acted on by autonomous software.

The project will initially develop & demonstrate autonomous driving functionality for an electric delivery van, which can then be adapted and rolled out to larger trucks and buses.

Mike Bartley, CEO and Founder of T&VS said, “It is great to have our expertise in the verification and validation of advanced driverless technology recognised by Innovate UK.  We look forward to working with our consortium partners to spearhead the development of the UK’s world-leading autonomous vehicle technology.”

Read the coverage from Freight in the City

Consortium Members

  • Charge Automotive Ltd (Lead)
  • AXA UK plc
  • Loughborough University
  • University of West of England
  • University of Bristol
  • UPS UK Ltd
  • South Gloucestershire Council
  • Test and Verification Solutions Ltd
  • Thales UK Limited

About CAV

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is a joint unit of the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport. CCAV is a single point of contact for those in industry, academia and internationally set up to keep the UK at the forefront of the development of connected and autonomous vehicle technology.

Find Out More

If you would be interested in applying the lessons from this project to your business please contact one of our V&V consultants today.

Alternatively call one of our local sales offices.


T&VS Contributes to PEnDAR Project

A Feasibility Study Into the Cost-Effective Capture, Validation and Verification of the Performance (and Resource Cost) of Complex Systems During the Design Process

PEnDAR (Performance ENsurance by Design, Analysing Requirements) is an InnovateUK funded collaborative project between Test and Verification Systems (T&VS), Predictable Network Solutions (Lead Participant), and Vodafone Group.

With society’s increasing dependence on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) the need for better means to predict and assure the performance of critical infrastructure grows.  Today, the performance of large-scale Cyber Physical Systems and System of Systems is often an unplanned emergent property that can vary substantially during operational lifetime.  Although this hazard is sometimes validated as part of system commissioning, it often finds its way into deployed systems, impinging on the systems usefulness as well as increasing the total lifetime cost.

The PEnDAR project is a study into the feasibility of systematically considering both performance and resource costs early in the system development lifecycle (SDLC). The goal is to consider how to enable the Validation & Verification of cost and performance in the field of distributed and hierarchical systems via sophisticated but easy-to-use tools.

It is thought likely that this approach will be applicable to both new and established systems and be able to support both initial and ongoing incremental development.

This feasibility study aims to investigate the technical issues involved in effectively incorporating the mature mathematical techniques already available to capture, validate and verify the performance (and resource cost) of such complex systems during the design process rather than as an emergent property from the design process.

T&VS Contribution

As part of this collaborative project T&VS investigated the following critical items and incorporated the results into the final project report.

  • The feasibility of integrating performance V&V into a safety standards-compliant process suitable for safety-critical applications such as automotive.
  • Extending existing standards-compliant requirement sign-off tools to manage the capture and decomposition of performance/resource V&V requirements into specifications, features and sign-off criteria.
  • How the performance V&V process can be incorporated into a standards-compliant workflow for safety-critical applications.
  • Assessed the potential savings of performance/resource V&V in automotive software development and the potential benefits of applying a similar methodology in the SoS integration market.

Deliverables – Slideshare & Recordings

The findings from the study are planned to be presented as a paper in a special issue of IEEE Design & Test.

Find Out More

If you would be interested in applying the lessons from this project to your business please contact one of our V&V consultants today.

Alternatively call one of our local sales offices.


Safety Critical Verification – Who Can Help with my IC Design?

In a recent post on the EDA article clearinghouse,  Jim Hogan of Vista Ventures LLC looked into how all the EDA vendors  and leading consultants rate in terms of support for Safety Critical IC Verification.

Jim starts by stating:

“Today there is no one EDA company that has all the tools necessary to do safety critical chip verification (SCV), though virtually all are rushing to expand in this space.  Rarely does a week go by where we don’t see yet another announcement around safety critical verification.”

In the article he looks at all the key vendors; Cadence, Mentor, OneSpin, Synopsys and Aldec, and provides a matrix of their verification tools they offer before expanding on this to provide additional analysis of their solutions and place in the market.

In addition he looks at the leading consultancy companies that can provide support for safety critical IC design, and commenting on T&VS states:

“Mike Bartley has grown his consulting practice to help companies with their safety-critical methodologies.  It is mostly focused in the systematic area over random, but he does both.  T&VS has both a methodology service as well as a tool for verification
planning called asureSIGN.  asureSIGN lets you merge information from multiple sources; for example, you can merge your simulation data with OneSpin’s formal verification results using asureSign.”

This update forms the first of a number of recent posts from Jim Hogan covering safety critical IC design and Formal Verification:

  1. Using Formal along with random fault verification
  2. ISO 26262 certification and systematic verification
  3. How Safety Critical Verification is Next Big Thing
  4. Rating all the EDA vendors on Safety Critical IC design

About DeepChip is a 20 year old clearinghouse where semiconductor chip  designers contribute data-intensive papers and articles of first-hand  evaluations and production  benchmarks of commercial EDA tools.

About Jim Hogan

Jim is currently the managing partner of Vista Ventures, LLC. Jim has worked in the semiconductor design and manufacturing industry for more than 40 years gaining experience as a senior executive and board director in electronic design automation, intellectual property, semiconductor equipment, material science and IT companies.  Currently, Jim serves on several private companies’ board of directors.  Additionally, Jim serves as a strategic advisor to several private and public companies.

How to Protect the IoT with secure hardware

As the IoT devices continues to expand exponentially, security threats to hardware is an also growing concern and it becomes more of a reality to the organizations, the importance of securing the billions of remote, connected objects, networks against cyber-attack becomes increasingly challenging. This article explores why the use of secure hardware is recommended for protecting today’s user-accessible networked IoT infrastructure.

Read More

Learn how T&VS IoT Security services allow you to take a comprehensive approach to maintain the security, and protect your IoT devices from cyber threats.

What are your Biggest V&V Challenges?

Verification Futures has been running since 2011 in the UK and has also run in France, Germany and India.  During that time over 30 verification managers and engineers have presented their 3 top verification challenges, resulting in close to 100 different challenges being shared with the community (see table below).

Analysing that data tells us that their biggest challenge is integrating different languages, tools and strategies.  Innovation in hardware verification has brought us a slew of verification technologies to help us verify increasingly complex designs.  However, understanding how to select the right strategy combining methods, languages and tools, and then combining the results continues to be the biggest challenge we face.

As mentioned, design complexity continues to increase with a consequent increase in verification complexity.  This is cited by 8 of the speakers making it the second biggest challenge closely followed by completeness, mixed signal and debug.  Verification managers see closing verification as a major challenge leading to potentially long tails in the project execution.  Mixed signal verification challenges have been on the increase as speakers see more analog blocks appearing in designs.

Debug continues to appear very high in the list and industry research also puts debug as taking the largest percentage of verification effort on our projects. To my amazement most debug is still performed with waveforms and “printf” (although UVM allows us to write “printf” in more sophisticated ways 🙂 )  Surely debug is ripe for a major innovation to help us all save time for our scarce verification resource.

The table below gives the summary of the hardware verification challenges presented over the past 6 years.  This year the conference includes more software testing, with tracks on both safety and security.  The challenges are coming from Qualcomm, Thales and GE Aviation and as expected there are challenges around qualifying safety-related products but also familiar ones shared between both hardware and software; namely dealing with complexity and predictable execution of verification plans.

Join Us for Verification Futures 2017

Why not join us for Verification Futures this year on 6th April 2017 to hear more about the challenges and the solutions being offered. It is free to attend and there is both physical attendance in Reading, UK or virtual attendance available.

What Are Your Biggest V&V Challenges?

Help us to discover the top challenges that the community is currently facing in performing efficient hardware and software V&V by completing a short survey.  It has just two questions and shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes to complete.  Results will be presented at VF2017.  Thank You.

Table of Challenges

Challenge Description # Challenges
Integrating Languages, Tool and Techniques 10
Complexity 8
Completeness 7
Mixed Signal 7
Debug 7
Productivity 5
Requirements Driven Verif/ISO 26262 5
Reuse 5
Resources 5
FPGA Specific 5
Scalability 4
System 4
Integration Verification 3
Power Verification 3
EDA tool Integration 3
Design for Verif 2
Demonstrating Bug Absence 2
Synthesis/Timing Constraints 2
Performance 1
Change 1
Leading Edge Technology 1
Verification Data Mgt 1
Predictability 1
Measuring Test Bench Quality 1
IO Muxing at SoC Level 1
Lack of Models for Verification 1

NMI Software Validation & Verification Event – November 10, 2015

nmi-parent-logo-complete-loT&VS have supported the NMI in the development of a series of events to help companies better understand and overcome the challenges faced in the validation and verification (V&V) of complex electronic systems.

The first of these events will focus on the V&V of Software where the complexity of the environment and the potential for unexpected emergent behaviors means that traditional approaches are not sufficient.

This full day event will look in depth at how software across multiple sectors (automotive, avionics, medical, etc.) can still be made compliant to the appropriate safety standards, and secure from external threats given a systems likely connectivity.

T&VS Presentation

Mike Bartley Founder & CEO, TVSAt the event, T&VS will presenting in the “State of the Art” track on the following:

What can we Learn from Other Disciplines
Mike Bartley, CEO and Founder, T&VS

Event Summary

  • NMI Software Validation & Verification
  • November 10, 2015. — 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • UWE (University of the West of England), Bristol
  • Additional Event Information

Provisional Agenda

Please check the NMI Event Website for the very latest agenda.

  • Welcome & Introduction
    Dr. Derek Boyd, Chief Executive, NMI
  • Keynote Presentation
    Jack Cunningham, Director of Software Engineering, Thales UK
  • Software Verification and Validation Competition (see below)
    Robin Kennedy – Knowledge Transfer Manager, KTN
  • Challenges on Software V&V
    Rob Burton, Head of Software Engineering, Raytheon UK
  • Validation of Mars Missions
    Roger Ward, Technology Manager – Space Division, SCISYS UK
  • Case Studies
  • Disrupting the Smart Cities Market
    Wolfgang Bruchner, CTO, Cascoda
    Sean Redmond, Founder, Vertizan
  • Validating Requirements for the Automotive Industry using Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)
    Professor Jon Holt, Director, Scarecrow Consultants
  • Networking Lunch
  • State-of-the-Art Solutions
  • What can we Learn from Other Disciplines
    Mike Bartley, Managing Director, T&VS
  • Model-based Test Generation for Coverage-Driven Verification of Robotic Code
    Kirsten Eder, Reader, University of Bristol
  • Contestor Verification Approach
    Jamie Hutcheson, Principal Consultant, Altran
  • Verification of Avionics Software to Meet DO-178B/C. What, Why and How?
    Dr. Guillem Bernat, Rapita
  • Verification Techniques for Better Code and Higher Productivity
    Mark Richardson, Field Applications Engineer, LDRA
  • Networking Break
  • Group Discussion on Main Challenges & Potential Solutions
  • Event Close

T&VS Extends CPU Verification Tool; asureISG

The latest release of the T&VS CPU verification tool, asureISG, packs a host of new Instruction Stream Generator features:

  • Users can provide a randomization seed input and generate an instruction assembly
  • ISG supports standard SPARCv8 ISA. Other CPU ISAs can be added and multiple CPUs can be supported
  • User can define a valid memory locations and memory ranges for memory operations like load, store, other atomic operations, etc.
  • User can provide a list of valid CPU programmable registers to use during instruction assembly generation
  • User can generate a single assembly instruction or a pre-defined group of instructions with desired source and destination operands. Each instruction configuration has its own maximum limit of occurrences.
  • User can generate a sequence of instructions with desired source and destination operands, each sequence entry governed by its own successive iteration limit value
  • Instruction resources (operands) can either be fixed or defined as a range
  • User can limit the maximum number of instructions to be generated by ISG

For additional information on asureISG please view the press release.