DVCon 2009 Wrap Up: Attendance

DVCon, the first big verification-related conference of the year is now complete. Unlike in past years where I’ve spent quite a bit of time during the conference blogging about what’s been going on each day, I’ve decided this year (as you may have noticed) to do a series of wrap up articles instead.  Why?  One big reason is that I was able to describe many of the minute by minute details of the conference on Twitter along with many of my new EDA Twitter friends.  More on that in a future post (or check out Karen Bartleson’s post on her Twitter experience at DVCon). Another reason is that I wanted to spend more time taking in the conference itself as opposed to huddled in a corner somewhere writing up blog articles. If you have any preferences for one over the other please let me know so I can make adjustments if necessary at DAC.

In this post I’m going to discuss conference attendance. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on Formal vs. Dynamic Simulation, industry moves towards improving constrained-random simulation, my theory that SpringSoft should eventually buy Jasper, the Wednesday “EDA: Dead or Alive” panel, and the use of Twitter at #dvcon.

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DVCon 2009: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You!

It’s that time of the year again – DVCon starts this Tuesday, February 24 in San Jose.  First off, here is the list of sessions I’m tentatively planning on attending.


  • Accellera Technical Committee Luncheon
  • I’m skipping the tutorials on Tuesday as I’m not arriving in SJC until Tuesday morning and I’ve got meetings scheduled all afternoon.


  • Prototyping: Where Hardware and Software First Meet
  • Verification Methodology and Testbenches – I
  • Increasing Functional Coverage
  • Case Studies of OVM in Multi-language Verification Environments
  • Keynote: The Techonomics of Verification
  • EDA: Dead or Alive? (The old Troublemakers Panel slot, now hosted by Peggy Aycinena)
  • SaaS and Cloud Computing EDA Roundtable


  • Verification Data Management
  • Case Studies – I
  • Risky Business: How Do I Manage Risk in My Next Design Project?
  • Case Studies – II
  • Mixing Formal Analysis with Simulation: Why, When, Where, and How?

Note: If you’ve registered for the conference you can create your own custom downloadable schedule on the DVCon Zerista website.  The Zerista site is new this year and, in addition to creating a custom schedule allows registrants to network with other conference attendees.  It’s a great idea (if I do say so myself) but I think the scheduling mechanism could use some significant work, especially if someone was planning on using it for DATE or DAC.

Next, do you have a Twitter account?  One of the cool things in the pipeline for DVCon this year is that many attendees have signed up for Twitter accounts and are planning on twittering throughout the conference.  You can follow my activities at DVCon via my personal Twitter feed. Don’t understand Twitter?  Here’s a great video describing what Twitter is and why you might want to use it: Twitter in Plain English (thanks, Tommy!). 

The first year I blogged at DVCon (back in 2007) I spent a lot of time writing about each and every thing I did during the conference.  Last year I toned it down a bit, but this year I’m definitely going to focus my attention on one or two topics, as the nitty-gritty details will all be on Twitter. 

What else… oh, it looks like I’m going to have some company on the bloggers-as-press front (sorry Peggy).  Harry “The ASIC Guy” Gries will be attending the conference and will be blogging about his experiences over on his site.  Harry is also organizing the SaaS and Cloud Computing EDA Roundtable I mentioned above.  Harry is a great guy and I expect to see some interesting material from him over the next week or two about the conference.

Overall, I’m most excited this year to meet up with friends and colleagues, both old and new.  I’m also hoping to learn more about how the VMM and OVM are being used on real projects and whether users are looking for new features to be added (including features related to interoperability).

What are you interested in learning from DVCon (especially those of you not attending)?  I’ll be happy to do some digging around if anyone has any requests!

DVCon Misfits Unite!

DVCon starts three weeks from today.  Back in December, Brian Bailey commented that the DVCon program has too much of a focus on vendor-generated content.  I know for my part I was too busy back in August to spend the time to submit a paper abstract, even though at the time I already had an abstract and was developing slides for a perfectly good presentation on stimulus generation in the VMM and OVM.  Since then I've continued my involvement with the Accellera VIP TSC and executed on a couple of customer engagements.  

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VMM - Robust and Open, Stale and Proprietary or Somewhere In Between?

Last week I wrote an article about what appears to be an upcoming standards battle pitting the OVM vs. the VMM.  My comments seem to have touched a nerve with a large number of people and prompted comments from Janick Bergeron of Synopsys, Dennis Brophy of Mentor and Ambar Sarkar of Paradigm Works, among others.  Since this thread is starting to take the form of an all out smack-down, I figured perhaps the readers of this site could help me pick out appropriate avatars for Janick, Ambar, Dennis, and myself.  Figured out who's who?   Good, now let's continue!

Janick was concerned that my argument contained some factual errors - specifically with my assertions that:

  1. The VMM is not open.
  2. The VMM is not as feature-rich as the OVM. 

Ambar commented on the need for an open reference implementation of any potential standard verification methodology library.  He also bemoaned the lack of support for the SystemVerilog standard among the EDA vendors, and ended with a comment that the verification community "may not have the stamina or patience for morphing VMM/OVM into yet another methodology." 

Finally, Dennis challenged Synopsys to "post their customer & partner license terms and conditions," the implication being that Synopsys uses restrictive licensing agreements with its customers. 

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Comments on "The Brewing Standards War"

Updated 2/25/2008: Fixed a typo.

I wanted to let everyone know there have been some interesting and important comments to my post on "The Brewing Standards War", including one from Janick Bergeron of Synopsys and one from Ambar Sarkar of Paradigm Works.  I just got back to Austin and hope to respond to the comments within the next day or two once I get a chance to recover from my trip.  In the meantime, please feel free to add your own thoughts if you'd like to add to the discussion!

The Comeback On YouTube

FYI for those of you who read Cool Verification via the email subscription mechanism... In my post yesterday evening about the DACeZine roundtable discussion, I mentioned the Seinfeld episode, "The Comeback".  There is a pointer to a YouTube clip of the episode on that page that didn't show up in the email. The clip cracks me up every time I watch it so if you missed it, check out this link (or go back and reread the original post).

A Clash of Civilizations: Old vs. New Media

Update 12 March 2008: The DAC eZine article "Where Did You Hear That" containing the transcript of the roundtable discussion was published last week.  Check it out!

This afternoon I had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion for an upcoming issue of the DACeZine.  The topic?  Changing communications channels within the electronics industry.  The discussion (moderated by Ed Sperling) was made up of a distinguished list of participants (shown in picture from left to right):

DACeZine Rountable Panelists

I was involved in the discussion (that's me on the far right minus my signature beard, ski hat and sunglasses) as the token blogger, who also happened to be an engineer.  Any discussion of old vs. new media has to include a token blogger these days!  Gabe and Dave were representing the media, and Limor was representing a typical engineer and consumer of media information (who just so happens to help run a research laboratory for a large multinational semiconductor company :-).

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DVCon 2008 Best Paper Award

The winner of DVCon best paper award for 2008 is Kelly Larson of MediaTek for his session 2.2 paper entitled "Bridging the Application and Design Gap: Utilization of the GDB Proxy Protocol for Remote Control of an RTL Simulation."  Congrats Kelly!

Additional info about the conference - the attendance set a new record at greater than 800 registrants.  Also as an FYI, next year, the conference will be held February 24-26, 2009.

The Brewing Standards War - Verification Methodology

Back in August when the OVM was announced one of the big unknowns was how Synopsys was going to respond.  If Karen Bartleson's recent post on standardizing verification methodologies is any indication, the response is going to be to attempt to slow down and gain some element of control of the OVM via a drawn out battle in an Accellera standards committee. 

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