Verification Standards Take Another Step Forward
Accellera Ushers in Unified Coverage Interoperability Standard (UCIS)
For the past few months, Accellera’s Unified Coverage Interoperability Standards working group has completed and released a new standard that is destined to help boost verification productivity and efficiency. Verification teams use a variety of verification technologies, many times from different suppliers, to achieve their verification goals. Collecting information on how each tool adds to verification closure and sharing this information for ever larger designs among different tools has become a daunting challenge.
As a precursor to addressing this from a standardization point of view, many companies built their own way of collecting and sharing this information. Users recognized the need for a standard and market participants responded. For Mentor Graphics part, we developed and deployed the Unified Coverage Database (UCDB) technology for our verification products several years back. Via our Questa Vanguard Partnership program, many partners have integrated into the UCDB to help drive further verification efficiency and productivity for mutual customers.
Yet, users were still left with the challenge to use the emerging coverage database technologies from multiple vendors. Those users sought a solution to this dilemma from Accellera. After users completed a requirements document that outlined their needs, we at Mentor Graphics noted that our UCDB technology offered a good match. We offered to seed the standards development with our tested technology, as did other suppliers. In the end and with extensions from consultations with other suppliers, an updated UCDB Application Programming Interface (API) specification from Mentor Graphics formed the basis from which Accellera created the UCIS API standard.
In July 2008 we announced the Mentor Graphics technology donation to this Accellera standards effort. And on the day Accellera announced completion and availability of the standard at DAC 2012, Mentor Graphics was the first to announce product support.
To read more about support of UCIS and how it plays a critical role in verification, you may wish to read the article in the DAC issue of Verification Horizons.
The UCIS co-chair, Dr. Richard Ho from D.E. Shaw Research presented a comprehensive overview of UCIS at DAC. Dr. Ho along with his co-chair, Dr. Ambar Sarkar of Paradigm Works, Inc. also presented a tutorial at DVCon 2012 titled An Introduction to the Unified Coverage Interoperability Standard. The tutorial is available online. Accellera does require registration for the tutorial. The DVCon 2012 website on the UCIS tutorial goes into detail about what is covered in this 1 hour presentation.
I highly recommend you register and watch the DVCon 2012 tutorial for a good overview of UCIS. You can also download, for free and without registration, your copy of the Unified Coverage Interoperability Standard here. It makes a good companion for the tutorial.
What will you do with UCIS?
After reading the standard and watching the tutorial you should have a solid understanding of the importance it plays to reach coverage closure. You will learn how you can create applications to improve your own verification productivity and efficiency. Do you want to share the applications you write? The new UCIS forum and contribution area was created just for this purpose by Accellera. Please visit the site, register and contribute.
As more users begin to adopt UCIS, I envision this site will provide a good site for users to share applications.