by Ajeetha Kumari, Srinivasan Venkataramanan, CVC Pvt. Ltd.
SystemVerilog has become the most widely deployed Verification language over the last several years. Starting with the early Accellera release of 3.1a standard, the first IEEE 1800-2005 standard fueled the wide spread adoption in tools and user base. Since 2005 there is no look-back to this "all encompassing" standard that tries to satisfy and do more for RTL Designers and Verification engineers alike. The RTL designers benefit from the enhanced SV-Design constructs aimed at better modeling, lesser typing and new features. Many RTL designers also add simple assertions via SVA into their code as their RTL develops – they do themselves a big favor by doing so as this leads to less time to isolate a design (or environment at times) errors when a verification test fails later in the design flow. Adding SVA inline also assists engineers to formally document their assumptions about interface signals, corner cases etc. in an executable form. The verification engineers, arguably the more empowered ones with SystemVerilog's vast new features, simply cherish the ability to build high quality verification environments, stimulus, reference models etc. all by staying within a single language. SystemVerilog being built on Verilog's syntax significantly reduces the barrier between designers and Verification engineers thereby leading to more productive debug cycles as the designers are willing to look at "seemingly similar syntax".
Long term DV enthusiasts and pioneers have been used to certain advanced features in the adjacent languages such as PSL (IEEE 1850) and E (IEEE 1647) and once in a while miss those "handy ones" in SystemVerilog 2005 standard. The good thing about having a standard in IEEE is that it has a well defined process that allows looking for contributions, attracting donations from adjacent technologies and growing the language further. In this sense SystemVerilog is more like the English language, which has been adopting/including words from various other languages and by doing so becomes more and more prevalent in the spoken world. In that process there has been several