New chair of the OpenHW Verification Task Group elected

6th December 2022
Sheryl Miles

Imperas Software, specialist in RISC-V simulation solutions, has announced that Simon Davidmann has been elected as Chair of the OpenHW Verification Task Group (VTG) with an expanded charter to drive the developing verification infrastructure and methodologies applicable to all RISC-V adopters.

The OpenHW group was founded on the premise that to enable the broad adoption of open-source hardware IP requires high-quality industrial-grade verification. Following the first CORE-V processor released with industrial strength verification, the CV32E40P, the CORE-V roadmap of new cores requires improvements in verification productivity, including the reuse of the verification IP and infrastructure. Under the new leadership, these improvements in standards and methodologies will be available to all developers working with open-source or commercial RISC-V implementations.

Davidmann has extensive experience in the verification world. He was a key contributor to SystemVerilog, one of the key components of design verification. In 1997, he co-founded Co-Design Automation Inc., with Peter Flake, to design and implement a new language and simulator. Their work, along with Verilog’s developer, the late Phil Moorby, led to a single language for system specification, hardware design, hardware verification, and software development. That language became SystemVerilog, which was adopted by Accellera and became an IEEE standard.

“Fundamental to the OpenHW CORE-V open-source processor family is high-quality verification that has been achieved with the help and support of the dedicated OpenHW members and contributors,” said Rick O’Connor, President & CEO OpenHW Group. “I am excited that Simon is lending his verification expertise and vision to expand the scope of the OpenHW Verification Task Group to address industry-wide standards and methodologies for all RISC-V adopters.”

Fully verified open-source cores

The high-quality CV32E40P open-source processor IP core was the first core to be fully verified within the OpenHW CORE-V family. This marked the first of many projects based on the CV32E40P, which was verified using the Imperas RISC-V golden reference model, now a key component relied upon in development and verification both within open-source community projects and commercial designs. Imperas is a founding member of the OpenHW Group, which was established with a clear objective to drive the adoption of open-source hardware by delivering quality IP cores based on industrial strength verification and compatibility with the established commercial EDA design tools and flows.

“The semiconductor industry is built on standards, but it is the methodologies that provide the essential guidelines that support both successful projects and the foundation of the supporting ecosystem alike,” Davidmann said.

He noted that the open standard instruction-set architecture (ISA) of RISC-V is enabling SoC and system developers to explore new design freedoms and new solutions. Verification responsibility is undergoing a major shift from a few specialist teams to any developer who explores a RISC-V design.

“The RISC-V verification ecosystem needs to adapt and support the challenge in this step-change in complexity and scale,” Davidmann said. “With the member-based collaboration and infrastructure, OpenHW provides the essential framework to develop and adopt new standards and methodologies for verification of all RISC-V implementations both open-source and commercial.”

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