HAIFA, Israel - Taking a further step into the commercial EDA world, IBM's Haifa Research Laboratory has started to offer the company's FoCs assertion-based verification tool for a free 90-day trial. FoCs (pronounced "fox") was previously available only to IBM's business partners and to customers of RuleBase, the company's high-end formal verification tool.
The free trial for individual users marks the first availability of FoCs to "the engineering community at large," said Yossi Malka, manager of the verification department at IBM's Haifa Research Lab. "IBM believes that making FoCs widely available to engineers at this time will demonstrate the ease and benefit of assertion-based verification," he said.
FoCs supports Sugar 2.0, the IBM assertion language adopted as an industry standard earlier this year by the Accellera standards organization. FoCs takes Sugar properties and translates them into VHDL or Verilog assertion checkers, which are included with a design in a simulation environment.
The checkers monitor simulation results on a cycle-by-cycle basis for violation of properties. Each checker implements a state machine that asserts an error state if the property fails in a simulation run. IBM claims FoCs can improve testbench development time by 50 percent.
FoCs is available for downloading from IBM's AlphaWorks Web site, known for providing free downloadable software to the Java developer community.
IBM hasn't yet decided what happens when a user's free 90-day trial license runs out, Malka said.
"We will be closely monitoring reports on user experiences with FoCs, and are open to feedback from engineers on all aspects," he said. "It is likely that FoCs will be made available, in some way or another, for commercial use."
Further information about FoCs is available from IBM's FoCs home page.