Thought Leadership

Intelligent Testbench Automation – Catching on Fast

By Mark Olen

Graph-Based Intelligent Testbench Automation
While intelligent testbench automation is still reasonably new when measured in EDA years, this graph-based verification technology is being adopted by more and more verification teams every day.  And the interest is global.  Verification teams from Europe, North America, and the Pacific Rim are now using iTBA to help them verify their newest electronic designs in less time and with fewer resources.  (If you haven’t adopted it yet, your competitors probably have.)  If you have yet to learn how this new technology can help you achieve higher levels of verification, despite increasing design complexity, I’d suggest you check out a recent article in the June 2012 issue of Verification Horizons titled “Is Intelligent Testbench Automation For You?”  The article focuses on where iTBA is best applied and where it will help you most by producing optimal results, and how design applications with a large verification space, functionally oriented coverage goals, and unbalanced conditions can often experience a 100X gain in coverage closure acceleration.  For more detail about these and other considerations, you’ll have to read the article.

Fitzpatrick’s Corollary
And while you’re there, you might also notice that the entire June 2012 issue of Verification Horizons is devoted to helping you achieve the highest levels of coverage as efficiently as possible.  Editor and fellow verification technologist Tom Fitzpatrick succinctly adapts Murphy’s Law to verification, writing “If It Isn’t Covered, It Doesn’t Work”.   And any experienced verification engineer (or manager) knows just how true this is, making it critical that we thoughtfully prioritize our verification goals, and achieve them as quickly and efficiently as possible.  The June 2012 issue offers nine high quality articles, with a particular focus on coverage.

Berg’s Proof
Another proof that iTBA is catching on globally, is the upcoming TVS DVClub event being held next Monday 2 July 2012, in Bristol, Cambridge, and Grenoble.  The title of the event is “Graph-Based Verification”, and three industry experts will discuss different ways you can take advantage of what graph-based intelligent testbench automation has to offer.  My colleague and fellow verification technologist Staffan Berg leads off the event with a proof of his own, as he will present how graph-based iTBA can significantly shorten your time-to-coverage.  Staffan will show you how to use graph-based verification to define your stimulus space and coverage goals, by highlighting examples from some of the verification teams that have already adopted this technology, as I mentioned above.  He’ll also show how you can introduce iTBA into your existing verification environment, so you can realize these benefits without disrupting your existing process.  I have already registered and plan to attend the TVS DVClub event, but I’ll have to do some adapting of my own as the event runs from 11:30am to 2:00pm BST in the UK.  But I’ve seen Staffan present before, and both he and intelligent testbench automation are worth getting up early for.  Hope to see you there, remotely speaking.


One thought about “Intelligent Testbench Automation – Catching on Fast
  • Mark, thanks for helping to promote the European DVClub event! Like you, I was up very early to listen to Staffan Berg, Breker’s CEO Adnan Hamid, and verification guru Olivier Haller of STMicroelectronics. It was a great chance for users to hear about the two established graph-based solutions in the marketplace and to see how Mentor and Breker differ in how the underlying technology is applied. What are your thoughts looking back on the event?

    Tom Anderson, Breker Verification Systems

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at