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Predictable Verification; Part 4

Joe Convey and Bryan Dickman

11 Mar 2024

"Invest more to improve quality"

In scenario 4 of Predictable Verifications series blogs, we show the case for increased investment.

If your primary objective is to significantly increase the quality of the end IP product and to deliver it in a shorter timescale, then you have the option to invest in increased/improved platform resources in order to achieve this.

In scenario 4, the volume of testing has increased by 4X, and that comes with a cost uplift of 50% over the original baseline in scenario #1 and an implication that more slots are needed to meet peak demand. However, with the increased number of tests, even more bugs are being found pre-release, so the overall risk of post-release bug escapes is further mitigated.

Figure - The Investmore scenario - achieve more testing with more resources.

It is sometimes the case that product development teams do not know or fully understand what resources are required and what the verification cost is to develop their product. They consume resources as and when they are available, and may only be limited by resource availabilities. When asked how many more resources are needed, they don’t always know, but accept whatever additional resources are made available to them.

How do evidence that I need to spend more on my verification campaign?

Constraining your verification campaign to fit within limited resource availability might lead to under-achieving on verification levels. Equally, over-consuming resources in an ineffective and inefficient way might be eroding your product’s ROI. We advocate for better planning of verification campaigns, the use of prediction modelling, and analysis of historical data to build understanding and insights into the art or verification.

The hypothetical quality improvements mentioned above are dependent on both the efficiency and the effectiveness of your verification campaign.

Running more and more cycles, or running faster cycles for testbenches that are badly architected, will not necessarily improve the ability to find bugs.

Engineeing teams must also invest in testing effectiveness improvements, so that bugs can be found with less testing effort, thanks to smarter approaches to testing and intelligent execution of regressions.

We will leave those challenges for another time. For now we hope that you see the power of data and how you can begin to reason about your overall verification campaign when you have appropriate analytics to hand.

Please talk to us if you want to discuss your particular verification campaign challenges, or could benefit from some independent thought leadership, backed up with years of experience and insights in how to model your senarios, exploit and mobilise your data, to drive predictable delivery in your organisation.

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