This Week - Verification Now in Santa Clara
In Yokohama for Verification Now on Monday

Verification Now - One Down, Four to Go!

Verification Now 2008 - Santa ClaraLast Tuesday I was in Santa Clara presenting the first of the 2008 Verification Now seminars (the next one is tomorrow, October 21, in Austin).  About 50 attendees showed up to hear presentations on Requirements Based Verification, Layered Stimulus Generation in the VMM and OVM, and to see demonstrations from Certess, Denali, and SpringSoft

The trip was a bit of a marathon – I flew out to Santa Clara Monday afternoon, arrived at 5pm, and then headed over to the Denali office to work on recording a portion of the material in webinar format to assist with the translation efforts for the seminar in Japan.  Apparently we’re going to have a translator in Japan live-translating my presentation.  Participants will be able to wear headphones and listen to the translator if they don’t like listening to me directly, UN style!  I was at the Denali office until around 8:30pm or so, and then headed back to the hotel to get some rest.  Unfortunately, some pre-seminar jitters kept me awake later than I’d hoped (worrying that I wouldn’t hear the alarm and would be late to my own seminar ;-). 

Tuesday morning I had a quick breakfast in the hotel and then headed across the street to Techmart (where the seminar was held).  Here’s a photo of the main organizers of the event relaxing before the seminar got started.  From left to right – Michelle McFall (Cayenne Communcations), David Lin (Denali), Michelle Clancy (Cayenne Communcations) and Rob van Blommestein (SpringSoft). 

Michelle McFall, Dave Lin, Michelle Clancy, and Rob van Blommestein

Unlike the seminar tomorrow (Tuesday, October 21) in Austin, I gave my two presentations back-to-back in the morning, followed by lunch and sponsor presentations.  I’d hoped to get some photos of myself presenting, but it was difficult to do that while presenting!  I’ll have to get one of my colleagues from Verilab to give me a hand tomorrow. 

Usually when I give the presentation on Requirements Based Verification to a small group (10-15 people) we spend 30-45 minutes or more on discussion.  With a larger group that was a bit more difficult but there were some good questions/comments from the audience.  By the way, those of you in attendance may recall I referenced some tidbits from a book called “Billion Dollar Lessons” by Paul B. Carroll.  I read the book on the plane ride from Austin to Santa Clara.  The book provides an interesting look into the reasons behind some of the biggest business failures in the last 25 years.  The reason for most of these failures?  You might expect it to be problems with execution but in fact, the real issue was that the strategies these companies employed was doomed to fail from the start.  Basically, they got off on the wrong foot and were never able to recover.  Though the failures in the book were of a scale far beyond most of the projects we work on as verification engineers there is still something to be said for making sure you’re doing the right thing before you get started!

After the RBV presentation I went through my presentation on stimulus generation in the VMM and OVM.  This particular talk seems to resonate differently depending on the background of individual audience members.  People who have some experience with the VMM or OVM get a chance to see the way the other half lives, as it were, and feedback from these folks tends to be quite positive.  Those with no experience with any methodology, on the other hand, may not follow all of the examples provided.  My expectation is that these folks should leave the seminar with a good understanding of the different components of stimulus generation (transactions, sequences, sequencers, virtual sequences/sequencers) and understand where to look for more info when the time comes.

After my presentations we had lunch, and then it was on to the vendor presentations and demos.  I’d like to apologize to everyone for the delays and technical difficulties  (unfortunately there were some issues when it came time to switch laptops for the demos) we experienced during that part of the seminar.  As a result of feedback from last week, we should have most of the kinks worked out of this portion of the event (including some revamped vendor presentations).  In fact, I’m very excited to see the newly revamped Denali presentation/demo tomorrow as they’ve been able to get their verification IP and associated stimulus generation integrated with SpringSoft’s Verdi.  I saw a screen shot from the updated demo showing the ability to trace the results of sequences and sub-sequences in the Verdi waveform viewer – very cool stuff! 

We wrapped up around 2:45pm or so, and I had just a little time for a post-mortem with the sponsors before heading back to the airport for the flight back to Austin.  I finally made it back home around midnight. 

I have to say, preparing for this seminar series has been the most fun I’ve had in years, and I’m thrilled to continue the “world tour’ tomorrow in Austin followed by events in Japan, Taiwan, and Israel.  My biggest remaining challenge, besides presenting to all of my Austin-based colleagues tomorrow, is going to be packing for my 12 day trip overseas.  For better or worse, I’ve gotten the “one bag” packing bug as espoused by Doug Dyment over at  If I get a chance I’m hoping to write a review of my new Red Oxx Air Boss (though there is a very real possibility I may have to bail out and take another bag – stay tuned).

See y’all tomorrow in Austin!  Did I mention the next seminar is tomorrow at 8:30am in Austin? ;-).