Leading the Discussion on Unit Testing

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 9.04.54 PMAbout a month has passed since the great unit testing discussion in the Verification Academy booth at DAC in Austin. It was my second year in the booth. Very grateful for having had the opportunity. It was a lot of fun!

The format involved me cycling through a bunch of questions and comments on unit testing as a series of topics during which time discussion would erupt with me and audience.

At least that was the plan! Continue reading

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Knowing What Not to Know

My kids play a game where they pick out people and argue about what their superpower is. If we’re all indeed born with a superpower, I’d have to say mine is ignorance. Admittedly – and, yes, unfortunately – this is a superpower that couldn’t be more lame. But accepting the hand I was dealt, I feel like I’ve turned ignorance into an advantage. Continue reading

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SVUnit Moved to GitHub

Heads-up that we’ve moved SVUnit from Sourceforge to GitHub. This move was a long time coming, finally got it done a couple weeks ago. From now on, all new development will take place in the SVUnit GitHub repository. We may continue to post new releases to Sourceforge for a time while people sort out any download pointers, but I expect that’ll only last a few months. I still need to move open issues from Sourceforge to the GitHub issue tracker, but any new tickets should be filed on GitHub.

-neil

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My RTL is Done

Kind of.

I regularly hear that part of why designers don’t have time for unit testing RTL is because they’re under extreme pressure to deliver RTL to PD. I have very little experience in this direction but I think it’s so PD can get on with floorplanning and <whatever it is they do>. The thing about the early RTL drops is that they almost always happen before any meaningful verification is done. They tend to be very buggy, sometimes borderline non-functional, but they must be useful otherwise the pressure wouldn’t exist.

While I don’t totally understand the reasoning, I do understand the pressure. When a design engineer says there’s no time for unit testing, I shrug my shoulders and sympathize as best I can.

Then I get thinking… what if there’s a way we could relieve the pressure by giving designers a way to deliver buggy, non-functional RTL faster than ever to PD? With the added breathing room, they could add a few unit tests as they code.

This is where Poser comes in. Continue reading

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5 Steps to Unit Testing Success

Seeing unit testing catch on and flourish with a new team has made the last few months at work pretty fun for me. Getting to this point, though, has been a ton of work. Considering the journey toward unit testing can have a lot of twist, turns, surprises and disappointments, I figured it would be a good time to recap in hopes my experience helps others grow unit testing within their teams. Continue reading

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Simple Clock and Reset Support in SVUnit

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.54.17 AMIn a post a couple weeks ago called Sorry Design Engineers, I Can Do Better, I told design engineers that I’d do a better job of giving them what they need to unit test their RTL. I felt like I’ve been neglecting design engineers and decided I needed to set a new, more inclusive course. Tonight I took a first step in that direction. I’ve released SVUnit 3.10 with a simple clock and reset utility that’ll make it easier for design engineers to unit test synchronous and asynchronous logic. I also recorded a 25min code demo for design engineers to show how they can use SVUnit to unit test RTL modules. Continue reading

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SVUnit Topics, Questions and Opinions

I’m looking for a list of discussion topics for a panel discussion that’ll happen at DAC in June. It’ll be a very informal/interactive session. We’ll take a list of topics and cycle through them in a series of 5-10min discussions. Audience will be encouraged to participate; agreeing or disagreeing as they see fit.

I’m looking for topics to get discussion rolling and am hoping you’ll chime in with your ideas. So if you’ve got a few minutes, I’d appreciate you joining the google group discussion and dropping a few comments or questions regarding unit testing, test driven development, SVUnit and/or related. As many as you can think of. Topics could be for or against unit testing, doesn’t matter. In fact the tougher the topic, the better! I’ll take 10-15 and and quote them in a series of slides. We’ll show the slides and invite the audience to weigh in.

 

Thanks for helping out!

-neil

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SVUnit for Chip Leads and Managers

Advanced verification methods put chip leads and managers at a real disadvantage, especially when it comes to visibility and predictability. With long testbench development times, early progress in constrained random is essentially based on trust; being random, the inherent uncertainty makes predictable scheduling and release milestones rare. Continue reading

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Sorry Design Engineers, I Can Do Better

There were a lot of highlights from DVCon when it comes to SVUnit. In fact, it was the most successful three day stretch I’ve had in a very long time. From verification engineers in particular, it was the first time I had the feeling that SVUnit is gaining genuine acceptance. The stories and experience I’m finding in people are fantastic. Interest and usage is growing. Everything is awesome…

…kind of. Continue reading

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Join the SVUnit User Group

One suggestion that came out of the SVUnit User Group Lunch last week during DVCon was a mailing list so that SVUnit users could keep in touch with questions, etc. Sounded good to me so I’ve set up an SVUnit User Group. It’s a google group. Anyone can join.

With the lunch being a great first step (for me it felt like a giant leap) in building a real community around SVUnit, my hope is that this is the natural next step giving us users an online home to congregate and support each other.

If you’re an SVUnit expert, someone entirely new to SVUnit or anyone in between, I hope you’ll join us in the SVUnit User Group to share your questions and experience!

-neil

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