comment on this article

Bolt on beats bugs

Overcoming the adverse effects of abstraction. By Peter Davy.

Whilst design techniques are tending towards the use of ever higher levels of abstraction in order to cope with complexity, there is an undesirable side effect: the designer gets further away from the code. This can make debug more difficult, as the engineer has a less intimate knowledge of the design. The effect has become acute since high level design languages (hdl) have substantially replaced schematics.

However, a relatively inexpensive tool which can be bolted onto an existing simulator addresses this problem. HDL simulators are commonplace and provide a virtual environment in which to test and debug hdl based designs; either interactively or with a testbench. For interactive debugging, simulation results are usually viewed in one of a collection of windows, the most common of which is probably a graphical waveform window. Side by side will be a window displaying the active hdl code. But with thousands of lines of hdl representing many concurrent processes, visualising a design is not straightforward and hence debugging can be confusing.

Click here to request this article by email

Graham Pitcher

Comment on this article

This material is protected by MA Business copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team.

What you think about this article:

Add your comments


Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles