"Design Assurance"

Dave Rinehart1 and Ravi Pragasam2

1Aldec Corporation
2Actel Corporation


Today, in the era of multi-million gate designs, reusable IP and SoC designs, verification is considered the largest bottleneck in the design process and the demand for time-to-market continues to become a smaller window. Therefore, the industry faces a test/cost problem where verification and testing represents the larger part of development expenses. In order to address the potential lack of complete verification the hardware design life cycle processes should include new technologies, could provide enhanced safety in airborne systems if the technologies could be incorporated at an affordable cost. As the complexity of commercial electronic components increases, the design, verification of design and production testing are becoming increasingly dependant on EDA tools. Three methodologies - hardware emulators, hardware accelerators and FPGA prototypes - provide the highest performance of all verification approaches in the industry. HES (Hardware Embedded Simulation) technology from Aldec combines the best in all of those three methodologies.

As the design assurance level increases, the approaches needed to verify that a given design meets its requirements demand special method and tools. This is particularly important for the highest design assurance levels (levels A and B) in avionics. HES technology very well fits for verification the complaints of the RTL design in hardware. With HES technology the design automatically implemented to FPGA based board having the test bench seamlessly connected to the design in the hardware. The delta cycle accurate behavior can be validated using common standard tools, like waveform viewer, list viewer, log files etc. Thus allows to meet hardware verification plan specified in DO-254, including the verification methods, verification data and verification environment.

The use of Aldec HES methodology in verification and validation of airborne systems raises a number of issues with respect to meeting airborne system safety requirements and DO-254 objectives. 


  1. DO-254: Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronics Hardware.



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