Scoreboarding

Ensuring functional communication channel integrity

In modern electronic systems, ensuring the correct transfer of data between and through components has become a complex challenge. The preservation of data integrity in many design applications is of paramount importance. Finding data transport bugs and ensuring datapath integrity using traditional simulation-based environments can often lead to issues not being identified, due to the likelihood that simulation stimulus will not provide an exhaustive test.

The OneSpin Scoreboarding App provides a powerful mechanism to perform exhaustive data transport verification on an appropriate component in an automated fashion. It highlights data transport problems in a component without the need for the user to create any simulation stimulus or assertions, making it easy to apply.

Scoreboarding

The use of Scoreboarding has become commonplace in many verification environments. Scoreboarding is an analysis technique that tests for the correct transfer of data through electronic components of different types. Scoreboarding has applications in many types of design with data transport activity, for example, communications designs making use of FIFO queues with logic to compare header and control word detail, bus systems of all types, including Network on Chip solutions, data encoding and decoding blocks tested together to ensure no data blocks are corrupted, etc. 

Scoreboarding may be used with both simulation and formal-based environments. However, in simulation the data transport must be activated using specific stimulus functions. With formal scoreboarding all data transport will be verified without reliance on simulation stimulus. In addition, formal can prove that a specific data word will eventually emerge from a block, a characteristic that may be recognized as a “liveness” property. Simulation-based solutions cannot make this guarantee unless the data emergence observation is actually made during a simulation run.

OneSpin’s Scoreboarding App automates this approach, without the need to write assertions or to provide simulation stimulus, making it significantly more reliable and easy to use than other solutions. 

OneSpin’s Formal Scoreboarding App

The OneSpin Scoreboarding App may be applied quickly from within the formal environment. A set of simple commands are applied to tell the system where the input and output data should be observed, together with optional clock, valid and reset information, which allows various data packaging protocol to be handled. Various signal sets may be specified as “to be observed” out of a larger range of possible data. Test scenario specification has been designed to be as easy as possible, without the need to write assertions. 

The Scoreboarding App can test for a number of data transport issues, including:

  • Data corruption within a block
  • Data misrouted or lost in some other fashion within a block
  • Data duplication within a block to produce multiple outputs
  • Data incorrectly reordered
  • Data “ghosting” where data is apparently output without having been input
  • Communication interruption or scrambling
  • Ensuring that once data is input it will eventually appear on the output

For prove and effective debugging, the full power of the OneSpin 360 DV-Verify environment is available. This allows Scoreboarding input and output to be traced using a transaction view for easy analysis, and for the reason for the unexpected data transport to be discovered quickly.

The OneSpin Scoreboarding App may also be used in conjunction with the OneSpin Protocol Compliance App to analyze the behavior of standard bus systems. A specific example of this is the verification of a bus bridge passing data between two busses with different protocols, where both apps can enable a complete test of the system. Such an App combination is extremely useful for the thorough test of core device components.

OneSpin has included the Scoreboarding App in its DV Apps Library that is included as part of the OneSpin 360 DV-Verify™ product.

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Validate the data transport in your design formally without writing stimulus and try OneSpin’s Scoreboarding App now!

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