by Martin Vlach, Mentor Graphics
Today, very high expectations are placed on electronic systems in terms of functional safety and reliability. Users expect their planes, automobiles, and pacemakers to work perfectly, and keep on working for years. A reboot of a smartphone is annoying, but rebooting the airplane or car electronics while underway could be catastrophic, and a glitch in an implanted medical device could be life threatening.
The extremely successful digital abstraction allows us to decompose the problem of ensuring that a digital circuit "works" into the separate steps of functional and physical verification. EDA tools take the design either from an algorithm, or from RTL, all the way to implementation.