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Engineers find new way to develop behavioural models

Posted: 07 Aug 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:behavioural models  mixed-signal circuit  modular architectures  system-level verification 

Indian engineers say they have found a new way to develop behavioural models for analogue and mixed-signal circuit designs based on modular architectures that can be reused in future designs.

They said the new methodology will free users to model different modes, with the best use of the models being in system-level verification and testbench development.

Using the new method, target functionalities (or behaviours to be modelled) for circuits are partitioned into many mutually exclusive modes of operation, where a circuit can operate in any mode. Each mode is then modelled using existing techniques. A controller is then modelled, controlling the behaviour of the overall model.

"These models are particularly useful for system-level verification of large [analogue and mixed-signal] designs," the engineering team, including researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur and National Semiconductor, said in a paper.

One problem in structural partitioning-based modelling (where the design netlist is partitioned) is that the models cannot be developed until the design architecture is known. In current design methodologies, "a modelling methodology is required that supports model development at a very early stage of the design flow when only the specification of a design is available. It is advantageous to have a modelling methodology that supports model development from specification, as well as from netlist," they said.

"Our approach also allows users to model different modes with different detailing," the researchers said. "After dividing the modelling problem into modelling of several modes of operation, we need to combine these modes properly to generate the overall behavioural model. This is the combine step. For this, we need to model that controller that controls the mode transitions."

The benefit of the new method, they added, is that it helps divide the modelling problem first into manageable pieces, then recombines it to obtain the model of the larger circuit. The results are reusable, and the approach enables the modelling of different behaviours at different levels of precision.

"With the growing need of behavioural modelling both in design and verification of large, integrated mixed-signal designs, we believe such a practical methodology for developing behavioural modelling is essential," the researchers added.

- K.C. Krishnadas
EE Times

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