Thought Leadership

Verification Academy’s DAC Must See Recommendations

By Harry Foster

This year the Verification Academy is celebrating two big events at DAC 2018. First, this is the Verification Academy’s tenth year anniversary. And today I am excited to announce that we have grown to over 50,000 members worldwide! Second, this is the seventh year that the Verification Academy has exhibited at DAC, where over the year’s we have had an amazing lineup of technical talks given directly in our DAC booth.

A few weeks ago we solicited the Verification Academy members for recommendations on the technical sessions they were planning to attend at this year’s DAC. The opinions of the Verification Academy members are very important to me, and I want to thank you for all the feedback and recommendations. I’ve compiled the list of recommendations that I received and decided that I would share some of the key suggestions in this blog. Obviously, this list is biased towards functional verification content, which should not be too big of a surprise since I am one of the founders of the Verification Academy and verification is my passion!

I have partition the recommendations into four groups: DAC Designer Track, DAC IP Track, DAC Research Track, and Verification Academy Booth Talks. So, let’s begin!

DAC Designer Track Recommendations

The DAC Designer Track is targeted specifically at practitioners by bringing together IC designers, IP core designers, embedded software and system developers, automotive electronics engineers, security experts, engineering managers, and verification engineers from across the globe. Leading companies will present their experiences on effective design flows, methods, tool usage, as well as IP integration and software development practices. The Verification Academy’s DAC Must See Recommendations for the Designer Track includes:

DAC IP Track Recommendations

The DAC IP Track brings together Intellectual Property Core designers, users, and IP ecosystem providers from across the globe. The IP Track includes presentation/poster sessions, panels and invited talks.  It offers a unique opportunity to network with and learn from other industry experts.  The Verification Academy’s DAC Must See Recommendations for the IP Track includes:

  • Portable Stimulus: Design and Verification [R]EvolutionWith a variety of user perspectives, including Working Group participants as well as experienced and prospective user companies, this panel of experts will address the following questions: How will Portable Stimulus impact Verification IP? Design IP? Should Portable Stimulus become part of the default package delivered with an IP? Is Portable Stimulus an opportunity to bring design engineers more into the verification process? If so, how? Will RTL verification engineers and embedded software developers really use the same tool? Will Portable Stimulus complement or replace UVM? Is Portable Stimulus an evolution of verification or is it a revolution?

DAC Research Track Recommendations

The Design Automation Conference (DAC) is the premier event to showcase cutting-edge research achievements in the design and design automation of electronic circuits and systems. The Verification Academy’s DAC Must See Recommendations for the Research Track includes:

  • The Automotive Digital Twin – Virtual or Virtually Impossible…It’s estimated that 14.2 billion miles of road testing will be required as cars reach levels 4 and 5 autonomy. Hence, some engineers argue that this is impractical and that traditional ways of testing simpler electronics using physical road testing simply will not scale. Enter the Digital Twin. The Digital Twin sets out to virtually model the complete development of these complex systems such that they can be architected, designed and tested 100% digitally before any physical hardware is created. The promise is that this will shift-left development cycles, increase quality and reduce development costs. But can a Digital Twin accurately and effectively represent an entire autonomous car to eliminate the old ways of physical validation—particularly with emerging safety requirements (ISO26262), as well as the emergence of artificial intelligence as controls? This panel of experienced technical experts will debate the pros and cons of realizing the automotive Digital Twin.
  • Verification: From Black Art to ScienceVerification is the nemesis and nightmare of every hardware design. The cooler the features in a hardware device, the harder it is to verify. There are no shortcuts here. Whether it is real number spaces, no observability, complex designs or hard to specify features, every design is a new beast. It is difficult to scale, intellectually challenging and computationally among the hardest known problems. This session consisting of six research papers presents the entire spectrum of verification challenges and solutions- security verification, post-silicon validation, microarchitecture verification, and analog verification. Come and find out from the masters of this “black art” how it is done.

Verification Academy Booth Talks

The Verification Academy has lined up a total of twenty three technical and industry invited talks – covering a broad spectrum of topics, such as:

  • Industry Trends in Functional Verification
  • Portable Stimulus and UVM updates
  • Data Mining
  • Functional Safety Compliance in Automotive IC Designs
  • Gate-level CDC Verification and Glitch detection signoff
  • Using HLS for Accelerate computer Vision
  • AMS Verification Methodology for GPUs in AI and Deep Learning Applications
  • Emulation Unique Solutions for the Automotive Market

I encourage you to visit booth #1622 on the DAC exhibit floor where the Verification Academy plans to explore new solutions to today’s IC Design and Verification challenges. Visit the Verification Academy DAC Events page to see the complete list of VA technical talks.

Hope to see you at DAC 2018!

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