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Will Open-Source Processors Cause A Verification Shift?

By Ann Steffora-Mutschler, Semiconductor Engineering

While the promised flexibility of open source could have advantages and possibilities for processors and SoCs, where does the industry stand on verification approaches and methodologies from here? Single-source ISAs of the past relied on general industry verification technologies and methodologies, but open-source ISA-based processor users and adopters will need to review the verification flows of the processor and SoC.

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At the end of the day, it is not uncommon for SoC designers to grill their IP providers on their verification process, sometimes requesting coverage reports and other documentation as part of the package, pointed out Nicolae Tusinschi, design verification expert at OneSpin Solutions. “When it comes to a processor core implementing the complex RISC-V ISA, users are going to expect and demand even more. Commercial core suppliers will have to respond to these requirements, and even designers placing open-source cores in repositories will have to do a better job of verification to encourage adoption.”


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