Portable Stimulus

Expert, independent advice for adopting and using portable stimulus

As products become more complex and market windows shrink so efficiency in product development can translate directly into competitive advantage.   At T&VS we understand what improves efficiency in verification: abstraction and reuse.  But how can these improvements be achieved?  One solution that is growing in popularity is to adopt tools and methods supporting the Accellera Portable Stimulus Standard (PSS).  Portable Stimulus enables verification stimulus to be captured, generation to be automated and the same specification to be reused.  All features that help PSS to deliver on the promise of enabling enhanced abstraction and reuse.

The reuse revolution started in design IP and has had a huge impact on design efficiency. Verification IP soon followed in the form of eVC (e Verification Components) and more recently UVC (UVM Verification Components).  Unfortunately to a large extent these developments missed the main challenge; that the primary currency of verification is stimulus (and checkers, of course).

Multiple Dimensions of Reuse

In addition to stimulus itself, verification  also has to deal with the multiple dimensions of reuse, i.e.:

  • Hierarchy (block, subsystem, SoC, system)
  • Platform (simulation, emulation, FPGA prototype, Silicon)
  • Project (reuse from one project to the next)

Portable StimulusTo address this issues the Accellera organisation was tasked to develop an industry-wide standard for implementing test and stimulus that would be portable from IP-to-Full System and across multiple target platforms.  The Portable Stimulus Standard is the result of that work and it was made freely available in 2017.  EDA vendors have been quick to respond to PSS with many of its features already making their way into commercial tools.

How Can T&VS Help with Portable Stimulus?

T&VS are a leading expert in test and verification and having worked on numerous complex test and stimulus projects.  It is therefore only natural that T&VS have been closely tracking the development of the Portable Stimulus standard.  In addition, through its close cooperation with many of the companies on the PSS Working Group the company has developed expertise in using the latest tools that support the standard.  This means that T&VS are therefore ideally placed to provide expert, independent advice on the use of Portable Stimulus and to undertake verification projects based on the standard.

Portable Stimulus Explained

PSS defines how to specify verification intent and behaviors that are reusable across a wide range of target platforms (virtual, simulation, emulation, prototype and final silicon). The specification also allows for the automation of test generation.

Implementations of Portable Stimulus

T&VS are experienced in using many of tools that implement the Portable Stimulus Standard, including:

About Accellera

Accellera is an independent, not-for profit organisation with the mission is to create system-level design, modeling and verification standards.  As part of its ongoing partnership with the IEEE its standards are contributed for formal standardization and ongoing change control.

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