ImperasDV Selected for Automotive Quality RISC-V Processor Functional Design Verification

By Chad Cox

Production Editor

Embedded Computing Design

May 26, 2022


Image Provided by NSITEXE and Imperas Software Ltd.

Imperas Software Ltd., announced that NSITEXE, Inc., a group company of the DENSO Corporation that develops and sells high-performance semiconductor IP for automotive applications, has selected ImperasDV for its advanced RISC-V processor hardware design verification.

This increases the use of Imperas simulation technology, models, verification IP and tools by NSITEXE for the next generation of 64bit RISC‑V based designs containing vector accelerators for AI (Artificial Intelligence) automotive applications with verification leading to the level required to achieve ISO 26262 ASIL D.

RISC-V is an open standard ISA (Instruction Set Architecture)  enabling processor developers to enhance the configuration utilizing both standard extensions and custom instructions. The newly ratified RISC-V Vector Extensions strengthen the compute requirements for hardware accelerators for applications involving linear algebra, which is applicable for the emerging AI algorithms and workloads in innovative automotive applications.

ImperasDV provides an adaptable framework based on the open standard RVVI (RISC-V Verification Interface) that supports the main RTL verification with the Imperas reference model in a ‘lock-step-compare’ methodology as well as test suites and other verification IP.

“The open standard ISA of RISC-V is enabling a fundamental shift in processor development, with developers able to explore and innovate solutions with optimized solutions for targeted applications,” said Simon Davidmann, CEO at Imperas Software Ltd. “The flexibility of RISC-V on the design side has a direct impact on the verification task, and since the value-added features are central to the development, we developed ImperasDV to be adaptable for all implementations to allows our customers and users to verify state-of-the-art designs independently. NSITEXE are pioneers in developing advanced RISC-V vector accelerators for AI, and we are pleased to see the Imperas technology and ImperasDV supporting the quality requirements for automotive applications.”

ImperasDV includes verification duties for applications that range from basic controllers through to advanced designs featuring:

  • Vector extensions
  • Privileged mode security protections
  • Multi-hart
  • Custom extensions

“The flexibility of the RISC-V ISA coupled with the performance of vector extensions is an ideal starting point for AI accelerators for automotive applications,” said Hideki Sugimoto, CTO of NSITEXE, Inc., a group company of DENSO Corporation. “To address the verification requirement for our next generation of processors, we have developed an optimized verification flow with ImperasDV that our design team set up with detailed configuration options to deliver on their comprehensive verification plans that provides the industry leading quality our customers expect.”

Chad Cox. Production Editor, Embedded Computing Design, has responsibilities that include handling the news cycle, newsletters, social media, and advertising. Chad graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in Cultural and Analytical Literature.

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