by Matthew Ballance, Mentor Graphics
Today's complex designs increasingly include at least one, and often more, embedded processors. Given software's increasing role in the overall design functionality, it has become increasingly important to leverage the embedded processors in verifying hardware/software interactions during system-level verification. Comprehensively verifying low-level hardware/software interactions early in the verification process helps to uncover bugs that otherwise would be uncovered during operating system or application bring-up – potentially in the lab. Characterizing, debugging, and correcting this type of bug is easier, faster, and thus less expensive, early in the verification cycle.