Obsidian Software, a company that specializes in verification tools, announced another product in its RAVEN Product Family. RAVEN is a random test generator used for functional verification of proprietary processors. RAVEN SE, for Standard Edition, supports licensable soft cores, running on Solaris and Linux operating systems, and is available now for MIPS64-based products. Future announcements are expected as the RAVEN SE product family expands to cover soft cores based upon other microprocessor architectures.
RAVEN is designed to be a complete random test creation environment. RAVEN's knowledge engine applies rules about the interaction between components and features of the core. According to the company, its patented technology knows about the instruction set, addressing modes, parallelism, and memory hierarchy, operating modes, registers and exceptions. By communicating with a MIPS Technologies simulator, the test generator ensures that only valid tests are created. Also, a graphical user interface, on-line help and interactive tutorial may help verification engineers reduce learning time.
The company says that some soft-core vendors provide a static test suite to verify basic SoC integration testing or for limited backward compatibility testing. For some customers, a static test suite may be adequate. However, for customers doing microprocessor designs from an architectural specification, a static test suite may not envision the scope of potential design changes. And, a static test suite may not predict the interaction between peripherals and a core in a complex SoC design.
RAVEN SE is designed to be used to create a static test suite, or it can supplement an existing test suite. In either case, RAVEN SE may help find those difficult corner cases that a static test suite cannot find.