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UVM for IP Designers—Moving Toward “Killing two birds with one stone”

Conference: DVCLUB Europe | Improving Verification: Designers and Verification
Speaker: Dave Burgoon, Principal Design Verification Engineer, Microsoft Corporation

In our hardware IP development methodology, designers typically put together a simple module-based directed-stimulus testbench to do the initial “bring up” of their RTL model, in an effort to verify basic functionality before handing off the design to a verification engineer for official sign-off verification. The verification engineer typically starts over and develops a constrained-random testbench using UVM. Often, due to the limited coverage of the bring-up testbench, we find ourselves in the unhappy situation of attempting to simultaneously turn on, by way of the UVM testbench, three pieces of non-trivial code: the Verilog RTL model, the UVM testbench, and the C++ golden reference model consulted by the UVM scoreboard. We began to wonder if there was a smarter way of working. Could we achieve more coverage at the bring-up stage by making UVM accessible and palatable to RTL designers, and then leverage the bring-up testbench as the starting point for the sign-off testbench? Would a testbench code generator tool help make UVM more accessible to designers? Our presentation summarizes our experience to date in pursuing these questions

3 Key Points:

  • The initial bring-up of the sign-off unit-level UVM testbench can be expensive.
  • Increasing the effectiveness of the IPdesigner’s bring-up testbench is one way to mitigate this expense.
  • A testbench code generator can help make UVM palatable and accessible to RTL designers, and can therefore facilitate this increase in effectiveness.
Speaker Biography: Dave Burgoon has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Toledo, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Colorado State University. He has two U.S. patents, and has made various contributions over the years to industry conferences and publications, including DVCon, its predecessors (IVC/VIUF and HDLCon), DesignCon, and the Design Automation Conference. Dave is a Senior Member of the IEEE, and has over 38 years of experience in hardware design, verification, functional modeling, and engineering productivity. He is presently a Principal Design Verification Engineer on Microsoft’s Custom Silicon Development team, which develops SoCs, chipsets, and sensors for Xbox, HoloLens, Azure cloud accelerators, and other products.


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