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IBM releases new design verification tool with support for the upcoming Sugar 2.0 standard

FoCs, the new assertion-based verification tool from IBM is now available on alphaWorks

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Haifa, Israel - 18 Nov 2002: IBM today announced the release of FoCs, IBM’s assertion checking tool, on IBM’s alphaWorks website, which serves as an outlet for IBM’s advanced technologies. FoCs, with support for the Sugar 2.0 language standard, is now available from alphaWorks with a free 90-day single-person trial license.

The primary purpose of FoCs is to assure correctness of chips prior to fabrication ("design verification"). Assertions are the driver and the front-end for Assertion-Based Verification (ABV) -- an important design verification paradigm, which is an essential part of modern-day chip design flow. FoCs leverages the Sugar 2.0 assertion language, which elegantly and efficiently addresses issues of expressibility, applicability, algorithmic efficiency and modularity. Earlier this year, Sugar 2.0 was selected by Accellera as a basis for a standard assertion specification language.

FoCs (pronounced 'fox') takes Sugar 2.0 assertions and translates them into Verilog/VHDL assertion checkers, which are in turn included alongside the design in the simulation environment. These checkers monitor the simulation results on a cycle-by-cycle basis for violation of the assertions, thereby providing enhanced verification quality and simulation productivity. FoCs users report drastic improvements -- up to 50% -- in testbench development time.

"This is the first time an assertion checking tool that supports Sugar 2.0 is being made widely available to the engineering community," said Yossi Malka, manager of Verification Technologies at the IBM Haifa Labs. "We feel that the release of FoCs on alphaWorks will serve to clearly exemplify the usefulness of assertion-based verification using Sugar."

FoCs has been available since 1999 to licensees of RuleBase – IBM’s formal verification solution. FoCs can be also licensed from IBM on a standalone basis for commercial purposes. Earlier this year, FoCs was also made available to IBM ASICs customers as an official component of the IBM Blue Logic design methodology flow. Similar to previous versions of FoCs, this version runs on AIX, Solaris, and Linux.

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