On Verification: A Software to Silicon Verification Blog


Multicore Verification — Don’t Waste Your Cores!

This weekend I found myself telling my 9-year old daughter to “Eat all of your beans — don’t waste your food!”  It has always bothered me to see perfectly good food get thrown away; these days it seems even more relevant. The same can be said about processor cores in verification.

About a year ago, Synopsys announced a corporate initiative to take advantage of multicore processor technology across its broad tool portfolio. On the verification front, the first tool out of the multicore gate was HSPICE, with impressive performance gains. What about Synopsys’ other verification tools?

Well, functional verification and FastSPICE tool users no longer have to suffer multicore-envy. Today, Synopsys announced its Discovery 2009 verification platform, including new VCS multicore technology and the new CustomSim unified circuit simulation solution with multicore capabilities.

This is a really big deal. Over the past few years, processor advances have come largely through multicore architectures rather than raw clock speeds, while the effort required for SoC verification has continued to grow exponentially. Improvements in single-core simulation algorithms, verification methodologies and use of compute farms have enabled large gains in verification productivity and will continue to do so. Multicore technology represents a fundamental and important new element of the verification toolkit, essential to taking advantage of the processing power available today and in the future.

So, with a nod to the new sense of thrift emerging in many households, you can do your part and take advantage of all of the cores in your workstation’s processor. “Use all of your cycles — don’t waste your cores!”

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