DAFCA Announces ClearBlue SVStudio Evaluation Kit

DAFCA Incorporated, the leading vendor of on-chip reconfigurable instruments and analysis tools for on-chip, at-speed silicon validation, announced the availability of the ClearBlue SVStudio Evaluation Kit, a slimmed down version of its popular post-silicon evaluation tool.

“Our products have been generally available for about 18 months now,” explained Dr. Peter L. Levin, DAFCA CEO, “and we have benefited from a terrific amount of field input, both from our customers, and our application engineers. This is the first generally available release that incorporates crucial usability features into our on-silicon functional testbench – both for implementation and analysis – and we thought it was about time to show off these enhancements to a wider audience.”

The SVStudio Evaluation Kit includes full user’s manual and reference documentation, and is designed to accelerate customer evaluation without a DAFCA-trained applications engineer. It includes a basic circuit that can be exercised in simulation and demonstrates the power of the silicon validation tool.

Toshiba America’s Technology Executive and Vice President of ASSP BU, Shardul Kazi, confirmed that DAFCA tools are increasingly important in modern design flows. He said, “at the 65 and 45 nm process technology nodes we will need DAFCA technology to validate and debug post-silicon defects due to timing, noise, cross-talk, temperature gradient variation, process related issues, etc, that can not be fully verified or detected with pre-silicon tools and methodology. Of course we can catch almost all of the errors in simulation and emulation, but there are inevitably corner cases that we simply can’t see. Compact, reconfigurable, and convenient on-chip instruments allow us to prove-out special cases that arise while the device is in the foundry, and to make certain the unexpected states don’t result in unexpected modes.”

ClearBlue is in production today at many of the world’s largest semiconductor companies, and the silicon testbench methodology has been shown to dramatically improve hardware validation and support hardware-software integration. “With the release of Evaluation Kit, we look forward to introducing many more customers to a better, more economical way to reliably accelerate their post silicon system validation. SVStudio reduces the dependence on expensive test equipment and is a great step forward for in-lab and in-system functional validation,” said DAFCA Vice President of Engineering, Paul Bradley.

Post-silicon in-system validation has emerged as the most difficult and least predictable step in design implementation methodology. DAFCA’s silicon-proven technology allows customers to validate the correctness and compliance of their designs, as well as diagnose unexpected behaviors, in silicon, at a transaction or signal level, without special pins, special libraries, or performance degradation.

Levin stated that four of DAFCA’s customers have already seen silicon with their instrumentation inside. “It is a tremendous feeling to see waveforms coming out of a real device, and to watch our customers’ smile when they compare it to their simulation models. Of course, every engineer cherishes those rare moments of significant technical achievement, and that’s what makes EDA special.”

The real pleasure, he adds, “is when the CTO or the VP of Engineering calls up and says, ‘hey, nice job’, and we start talking about their next designs. That’s when you know you really have something.”

DAFCA is an EDA company focused on semiconductor device validation. Our ClearBlue(TM) platform provides on-chip, at-speed, in-system observability and control with a compact set of user-defined reconfigurable instruments, seamlessly inserted at RTL. DAFCA users extend, for the first time, verification methods into silicon. DAFCA’s tools allow design teams to seamlessly incorporate patented, compact and silicon-proven reconfigurable instrumentation IP into their devices, pre-silicon, in order to observe, discover, and diagnose at-speed, in-silicon functional behavior.

The ClearBlue(TM) Instrumentation Studio is a powerful, easy to use, pre-silicon environment for insertion of reconfigurable instruments directly into RTL. The ClearBlue(TM) Silicon Validation Studio offers a wide spectrum of in-system, at-speed analysis capabilities, including logic analyzers, event-based validation and assertion-based debug, and performance monitoring. ClearBlue is compatible by design with all major EDA tool flows.