Unit Testing And TDD: Too Different To Compare

Here’s another post inspired by James Grenning and his “TDD with C” tutorial. Going through an abbreviated version of that tutorial last year in Salt Lake City at Agile2011 was what got me started with TDD. It inspired TDD month on www.AgileSoC.com last November. It encouraged me to get knee deep into SVUnit and TDD of verification IP. It also, in part, motivated my Agile2012 submission: TDD and A New Paradigm For Hardware Verification.

My second time through it was at ESC in San Jose this past March. This time around, I found myself fascinated by some skepticism in the audience when a fellow piped up with the comment “I see the value of unit testing but it’s hard for me to see the extra value of TDD”.

It was easy to see it wasn’t the first time James had seen this kind of skepticism during one of his talks. His response was “My goal is to show the value of TDD… but if all I can do is convince you there’s value in unit testing and that’s as far as you get, that’s great, too. That’s a start.” Continue reading

Functional Verification Doesn’t Have To Be A Sideshow

This is another one of those challenge-the-way-we-think-about-functional-verification posts. The motivation behind it comes from a few different places.

First is a blog posted on eetimes designline by Brian Bailey a couple weeks back called Enough of the sideshows – it’s time for some real advancement in functional verification! In that post, Brian exposes a few techniques – constrained random verification in particular – that have failed to live up to the hype and praise that’s been heaped upon them over the last several years. That’s an industry expert suggesting we re-think the direction we’re going with functional verification tools so if you haven’t read it, I’d suggest doing so. In case you missed it, Brian also inspired the snappy title of this post :). Continue reading

Unicorns, Leprechauns and Reusable Verification IP

There are times when I use agilesoc.com to step out on a limb and challenge the general consensus in hardware development. This post would definitely qualify as one of those times.

I don’t think the reusable verification IP we’ve been building is as reusable as we think it is. I don’t think reusable IP is reused as many times as we’d like (if at all). Nor do I think reusable IP is as valuable as we think it is.

There… I said it. Continue reading

(Wasted) Effort Spent In Verification

I just spent a few minutes reading Harry Foster’s analysis of a functional verification study commissioned by Mentor Graphics and carried out by Wilson Research Group in 2010. There’s lots of good information in Harry’s analysis – there’s 9 posts in all – and I’d highly recommend people take a look if they haven’t already. It’ll be worth your time. The posts go back to June 26th, 2011… which, admittedly, makes me a little slow on the uptake :). Continue reading