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Debug: More return for less clicks

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Gary Stringham
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re: Debug: More return for less clicks
Gary Stringham   1/21/2011 3:56:04 AM
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"...As history has shown, automation is the only exit to the vast debugging labyrinth today..." Albert Einstein said, "Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." It has been my experience that many of the defects found in chips would not have been there if some common sense design practices were employed. Automation is not the only way out of the verification debug problem. That problem can be reduced by preventing defects from entering into the design in the first place. For example, do not mix interrupt bits and read/write bits in the same register. That will avoid testbench and system integration defects. Do not take out unused, low-overhead portions of a block. Leave it alone and you will not break the IP, not break the testbench, and not break system software. And there are many more that I've collected and employed.

rajatmr
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re: Debug: More return for less clicks
rajatmr   12/9/2010 4:13:46 AM
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To understand the issue better we can look at 2 aspects of this verification problem. First, as you mentioned debugging needs intimate knowledge of micro-architecture. The ain't an easy one to solve.... There are tool that provide GUI or schematic view, but have inherent limitation on ease of use and performance. This problem is getting more severe with IP reuse and legacy design to deal with. A more sever aspect is what if the checker in testbench is wrong. That is the testcase falsely passes since the header of a packet was not checked. This is something most tools today can't find out. The saying goes, one writes a testbench to verify the RTL, who verifies the tesbench itself. Rajat

KeithSchaub
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re: Debug: More return for less clicks
KeithSchaub   11/29/2010 9:28:17 PM
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I whole heartedly agree. A tremendous number of systems, solutions, whatever you want to call them, require the user to spend 1/2 or even more of the time debugging the tool rather than the real problem at hand. Isolating the real problem and presenting to the user will improve efficiency in the double digits for sure. I hope more solution providers take note and implement this sort of technology/practice into their products.

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