Verification Now 2008 – Taipei and Herzliya
DFTdigest: Memory Repair Basics

OVM/VMM Interoperability and VMM 1.1

Two interesting announcements in the last few weeks.  First, Mentor and Cadence both announced compatibility libraries to enable VMM testbench components to interoperate within an OVM environment.  Then, today, Synopsys announced updates to the VMM, including the addition of multi-stream scenarios, transaction iterators, and a Performance Analyzer package to assist in the gathering of statistical functional coverage metrics.

Jason Sprott, Verilab’s VP of Consulting, was quoted as follows in the Synopsys press release:

"As an international provider of high-end functional verification consulting services, we have deployed VMM for our clients on a range of projects across the globe," said Jason Sprott, vice president of Consulting at Verilab. "Because of our significant level of hands-on experience with verification methodologies, we were in an excellent position to help guide the evolution of VMM and contribute to the enhancements in the latest release. It now enables even higher levels of scalability, simplifies implementation and is more capable than ever at helping design teams accelerate the verification process."

At a panel on the pros and cons of verification methodology standards last week at the Microprocessor Test and Verification Conference in Austin, several of the panelists (including myself) mentioned that there were definite benefits to having more than one “standard” in the methodology space.  Look at what’s happened in the year since the OVM was released – the VMM has been open-sourced, Mentor and Cadence have merged their methodologies even more closely with the release of OVM 2.0 and then released versions of the VMM that could run on Questa and IUS, and then provided libraries to allow the VMM and OVM to interoperate, and then Synopsys announced new additions to the VMM, which had been relatively stable for the first few years of its existence. 

If verification methodologies like the VMM and OVM get tied up in standards committees now, it may slow down progress tremendously.  I think the Accellera VIP committee may want to think about just exactly when it wants to pull the trigger on a combined library.  If it acts too soon, the user community may miss the benefits of the ongoing battle between the VMM and OVM.