Verification seminar forges the bonds between research, academia, and industry

IBM's Haifa Research Lab hosts industry seminar

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Haifa, Israel - 10 Oct 2002: Last month, the IBM Haifa Research Lab hosted a seminar focusing on design verification technologies. The seminar, attended by more than 150 verification researchers, developers, and end-users from companies and universities throughout Israel, was the third colloquium in a series of verification seminars hosted by IBM Haifa since 1999.

The seminar proposed to forge and nourish research and working relations within the academic and industrial communities in Israel that study and use verification technologies. The seminar featured speakers from the IBM Haifa Labs, Intel, and Galileo Technology. The Israeli academic community was represented at the seminar by speakers from such institutions as the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. David Harel of the Weizmann Institute gave the keynote address, which focused on various aspects of modeling and verification of complex reactive systems.

The seminar was yet another expression of Israeli expertise in the verification field. Israeli industry includes some of the largest groups of global companies involved in verification technologies R&D, such as Intel and IBM, leading CAD companies such as Verisity, and numerous firms that use these methods in developing their products. Israeli corporate CAD groups provided all four proposals for a standard property input language for verification tools recently considered by the Accelera Formal Verification standards organization. Israeli universities, such as the Technion, the Weizmann Institute, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have also placed a strong emphasis on researching verification technologies and methods. These facts combine to make Israel an up-and-coming world leader in the field of design verification.

IBM Haifa verification researchers Eyal Bin, Moshe Levinger, and Yaron Wolfsthal organized the seminar, with the objective of providing a sampling of both formal and simulation-based hardware verification. The various lecturers addressed a wide variety of relevant topics. IBM researchers discussed Sugar 2.0, IBM's formal property specification language, and methods for functional coverage and random test program generation. University speakers described mutual exclusion algorithms, model checking, and information-flow models. Industry representatives, the end-users of verification technology, described several real-world instances regarding hardware design and verification methods.

Emphasizing simulation
As a new feature of this seminar, simulation-based verification methods received more attention. Yossi Malka, manager of Verification Technologies at IBM Haifa Labs, said such verification methods deserve more research focus from universities.

"This seminar gave significant attention to simulation-based verification technologies due to their importance in the field," said Malka. "We hope this focus will help simulation-based methodology attract additional academic research."

The seminar was very well received, and the IBM Haifa Labs now plan to make the seminar an annual event. The Verification Technologies Department is currently planning to host a seminar in the field of software testing in the upcoming months.

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