Sunday, February 3, 2008

History of specman

History of specman:

Specman started to improve efficiency, productivity and quality of hardware design verification.

Main issues in focus are:
1. Task-based strategy of traditional verification (using HDL/C)
Traditional verification methods are based on debugging the design in compilor/simulator setup. Moreover, in traditional methods of verification, the test writing effort is high and information at higher levels of abstraction doesnot go into the testing functions and data.

2. Traditional verification cannot cope up with :
a. increasing complexity, gate counts of circuits
b. reducing time-to-market of design-implementation cycles
c. identification and constraining tests towards particular aspects of designs
d. the tremendous increase in importance of verification taking up 70% of overall project cycle.

3. As there is not an efficient way to direct tests towards particular testing areas, there is no way to be confident that all tests in that direction have been done and if not, how many tests failed.

So, Specman Elite came in and addressed these issues, with its multi-faceted, all-encompassing features.

Specman Elite with its Verification language 'e' have features like:
->Object-oriented programming

The Story of e:
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Design Verification with e
by Samir Palnitkar
Publisher: Prentice Hall

The e language was invented by the founder and CTO of Verisity, Yoav Hollander. It came into being at a time that Yoav was providing verification consulting for leading edge companies in his home country of Israel. While performing this work, he was frustrated by the fact that his efforts to create a verification environment were lost when he moved to a new project. Each environment was custom developed and not reusable. By the early '80s Yoav and his team were creating innovative verification environments using random test generation and repeatable generation of tests for several of their projects. By 1992 an early version of the e language and a prototype of Specman Elite were in experimental use at National Semiconductor and Digital Equipment Corporation. Verisity was formed (initially as InSpec) in late 1995 in order to bring Specman Elite to market. Specman Elite was introduced to the market during the Design Automation Conference of 1996.

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