New debug platform brings breakthrough in productivity

Because of the increasing complexity and size of digital ICs, as well as the sophisticated methodologies used to verify them, debug solutions need to be re-tooled to maximise user productivity and better reflect the way engineers work in evolving functional verification environments. The Verdi3 platform looks to address these requirements by delivering a two-fold performance increase with 30% smaller files than the previous generation, and enabling users to personalize the debug environment and seamlessly integrate custom applications created with the Verdi Interoperable Apps (VIA) platform for rapid and reliable deployment.

With the new Verdi3 software, SpringSoft has upgraded the underlying structure of its de facto industry standard fast signal database (FSDB) to both improve the raw speed of data retrieval and provide more efficient access mechanisms across the debug platform. Advancements include multi-threaded FSDB reader, new FSDB 5.0 format with compact file size, and parallel dumping of logic simulation results. In addition, a new robust SystemVerilog (Verilog-2009)-compliant language parser optimizes performance during SystemVerilog design and testbench debug operations with better error handling and multi-threaded incremental save capabilities that reduce compile time and memory utilization by as much as 30% and 75%, respectively.

SpringSoft has also rewritten the ‘look and feel’ of the Verdi environment with a new Qt-based GUI that puts engineers in the “driving seat”. They can choose to deploy the Verdi software directly out of the box, simply re-configure the layout of Verdi desktop, or even build a custom cockpit for their SoC debug flows.

Customisable toolbar, menu and hot key options provide a more natural fit with daily debug tasks and, in addition, new windows provide simultaneous access to multiple source files during debug operations, while ‘spotlight search’ enables faster, more efficient navigation of Verdi3 commands and features. Engineers can personalise the Verdi3 layout and debug modes for the way they want to work, while saving their preferences for the next or all future sessions.

For Verdi3 users, customisation includes the ability to change or create the functions and capabilities available to them as they go through the debug process. The new platform simplifies GUI-enabled integration of proprietary commands, third-party tools, and custom applications created by users of SpringSoft’s VIA Exchange. Engineers can traverse the Verdi design knowledge database, display relevant information, and execute VIA scripts directly from the GUI with seamless interoperability. Launched in October 2011, the VIA Exchange provides open interfaces to the Verdi database and software infrastructure, which makes it easy for internal CAD teams and external parties to develop reusable Verdi3 programs and utilities for their specific tool and design flow requirements.

“Springsoft has continuously delivered innovative technologies that enable engineers to do more debug in less time first with independent, design knowledge-based tools, and then next as an integrated system with critical behavioural analysis, assertion and system testbench debug, and power-aware debug automation,” said Mark Milligan, vice president of corporate marketing for SpringSoft.  “Our third generation platform is compelling because teams can now tailor the debug environment around how they work and take advantage of increased debug performance and scalability to handle even larger, more complex designs.”


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