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How to adopt assertion-based verification (ABV) into standard design flows

Posted in Hardware Engineering, Links, Technology by engtech on May 15, 2006

High level paper written by Chris Komar of Cadence discussing Assertion-Based Verification do's and don'ts.


  • Focus on a productive subset of the assertion language instead of the entire assertion language.
  • Consider using a library that contains common components and design constructs that make it easy to get started with ABV.
  • Consider the big picture and leverage assertions across the entire flow.
  • Consider reuse for common interfaces within your design with components that are parameterizable.
  • In simulation, complement your assertions with coverage. Assertions describe the functionality of the design not how the stimulus is stressing the design.


  • Spend much time worrying about which assertion language since they offer the same functionality only with different syntax.
  • Corner yourself into one assertion language because assertions will come from multiple places that use multiple assertion languages.
  • Write assertions for all aspects of your design. Focus on areas that are considered higher risk.
  • Be afraid to simplify by using simple VHDL or Verilog/SV to generate easier and more familiar conditions to check.
  • Wait to introduce assertions. Designers should write white-box assertions in their code while verification engineers should write block level assertions and end-to-end transactors.

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