Thought Leadership

Part 11: The 2022 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study

By Harry Foster

This blog is a continuation of a series of blogs related to the 2022 Wilson Research Group Functional Verification Study. In my previous blog I presented our study findings on various verification language and library adoption trends. In this blog, I focus on low power trends.

ASIC/IC Low Power Trends

As shown in figure 11-1, we found that 72% of design projects actively manage power. In fact, we found that the larger the design, the greater the concern for power management. Obviously, a wide variety of techniques, ranging from simple clock-gating, to complex hypervisor/OS-controlled power management schemes are employed whose requirements require verification.

Figure 11-1. ASIC aspects of power-management that design projects must verify

Figure 11-1 shows the various aspects of power-management that design projects must verify. The data from our study suggest that many projects, since 2012, have moved to more complex power-management schemes that involve software control (e.g., hypervisor/OS control and application-level power management). This adds a new layer of complexity to a project’s verification challenges, since these more complex power management schemes often require emulation for complete verification.

Since the power intent cannot be directly described in an RTL model, alternative supporting notations have recently emerged to capture the power intent. In the 2022 study, we wanted to get a sense of where the industry stands in adopting these various notations. For projects that actively manage power, Figure 11-2 shows the various standards used to describe power intent that have been adopted. There are some projects are actively using multiple standards (such as different versions of UPF or a combination of CPF and UPF). That’s why the adoption results do not sum to 100 percent.

Figure 11-2. Notation used to describe power intent

In an earlier blog in this series, I provided data that suggest a significant amount of effort is being applied to IC/ASIC functional verification. An important question the various studies have tried to answer is whether this increasing effort is paying off. In my next blog, I present verification results findings in terms of schedules, number of required spins, and classification of functional bugs.

Quick links to the 2022 Wilson Research Group Study results

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