About the Client
The client develops complex FPGA and software-based products for use in data centres where 24-7 availability is required.
The client took the decision to supplement its lab, block and module level verification efforts with a thorough system simulation verification approach based on UVM. They looked to T&VS to help them ramp on UVM and build their test benches.
The client’s products utilise software interacting with multiple FPGA-devices over PCIe. T&VS was engaged for device level FPGA RTL design verification, system level RTL verification of the multiple FPGA-devices and software-hardware co-verification. The overall budget was reduced through a fixed price contract and T&VS enabled this approach through an initial investigation performed under a T&M (Time and Materials) contract. During this period T&VS performed an extensive feature extraction that formed the basis of the fixed price contracts.
The T&VS Solution
Based on the extensive feature extraction, T&VS was able to identify the test bench, functional coverage points, checkers, tests, etc. required to verify the product at both FPGA device and system level. This enabled T&VS to estimate the effort required over an eight month period and pitch a fixed price bid with a high degree of confidence and well defined completion criteria (based on both code and functional coverage). The whole verification effort was delivered within the original client budget.
T&VS developed technology to enable the software to be co-simulated with the full system RTL design using the DPI. This allowed HW/SW integration verification but critically the system level test bench was used to generate error scenarios in the RTL to test error handling in the software.
The whole project was delivered as a blended model with a senior verification engineer onsite and a team of up to eight verification engineers at the T&VS offices in Chennai, India. The onsite T&VS engineer provided a critical technical communication channel whilst the project management was provided from India with weekly project reports and conference calls.
Despite best efforts it was not possible to completely tie down all of the requirements at the start of the project. But T&VS were flexible and all changes were negotiated in an atmosphere of partnership that made the execution of the project much simpler.
The T&VS deliverable included a regression system that can be used to verify future changes and form the base for verification of future products.
The Client Benefits
- Complex HW-SW system verified within budget and timescale.
- Change requests incorporated without major contract discussions.
- Well-defined methodology brings well-defined signoff metrics.