Mentor on AVM
Writing Assertions

The Future of Specman

On Friday afternoon I had an opportunity to speak with Mike Stellfox, Principal Field Verification Methodologist at Cadence.  We had an interesting discussion, which I'll write up in more detail soon, but towards the end of our discussion I asked him what new features we could expect in the near future for Specman.

According to Mike, one recent feature that just came out back in December is the Incisive Software Extensions (ISX). With ISX, it is possible to create an eVC that links to software, such as firmware or a device driver.

Another interesting feature that will be released with Specman 6.1 is real number support. Specman users have been asking for this feature for a number of years, though I have never personally had a use for it (having done much of my e development work on communications devices). Mike stated that along with real number support there will be "support for accessing analog signal types for analog simulators like Incisive AMS."

Finally, Mike shared that within the next 3-6 months Specman will sport a new constraint solver with backtracking support. With the new solver there will no longer be order dependencies on fields, so it should be easier to write complex constraints without having to worry about ordering issues. Along with the new constraint engine, a new generation debugger is under development that will allow you to single-step through the generation phase.  As many of you who use Specman know, constraint debugging can be a real pain, even if you understand what the debugger is trying to tell you. Mike believes the new debugger will be a major improvement. If that's the case, it should make life much easier for e developers.

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