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Validating the implementation of standard bus protocols

On-chip communications used today in modern devices often involve complex sequences of transactions and signal manipulations. When integrating IP blocks, especially those obtained from third party sources, it is critical that inter-block communication mechanisms work properly under all conditions. Many device issues are rooted in the failures of these mechanisms, and the resulting bugs can be hard to track down and fix. Ensuring that all the unique combinations of transactions are fully exposed requires many hours of simulation time and sophisticated stimulus files.

The OneSpin Protocol Compliance App automatically tests all possible communication transactions for specific protocols exhaustively, without the need to create stimulus. 

OneSpin’s Protocol Compliance App

Formal verification can test all possible communication transactions in a specific protocol, verifying individual types of transactions that are captured in assertions. Writing a complete and correct set of protocol assertions can be a challenging task itself. To eliminate this burden, the OneSpin Protocol Compliance app already includes complete and industry proven assertion sets for a number of popular on-chip bus protocols as Protocol Verification IP. The focus of the protocols covered by the App’s VIP are the standard ARM AMBA bus protocols, including: AXI, APB, and AHB. 

In addition, the app automates and simplifies the configuration and instantiation of these assertion sets for particular verification setups. The engineer simply instantiates the appropriate Verification Intellectual Property (VIP) checker and the app does the rest with no further interaction. The checker can test for the existence of specific protocol violations, or formally prove that the interface is performing correctly.

On a violation, the app generates a simulation trace which demonstrates how that violation is derived. The app is fully integrated into the OneSpin debug environment, including transaction views to simplify simulation trace debugging. The trace may also be output in the form of simulation stimulus to produce the same violation in a simulation environment.

The OneSpin Protocl Compliance App may also be used in conjunction with the OneSpin Scoreboarding App to analyze data transport through standard bus systems.

The Protocol Compliance App is part of the DV Apps Library which is included in the OneSpin 360 DV-Verify™ product.

Further Reading:

  • For an introduction to ARM AMBA Bus Protocols, click here

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