Phalanx Strategy: Applying Greek Warfare Tactics to Formal Property Verification

Synopsys Editorial Staff

Aug 16, 2017 / 1 min read

Navigating Complexities in Formal Property Verification

When running Formal Property Verification, engineers frequently encounter challenges with inconclusive goals, especially for complex properties. These scenarios, known as bounded proofs, leave them with a limited Formal bounded depth that does not provide clear results.

The Engineer's Crusade Against Nonconvergence

Envision engineers as warriors in a battlefield, fighting against the elusive enemy of nonconvergence. They deploy an array of strategies and tools, including abstractions, helper assertions, and the power of Formal verification tools, in their quest for full convergence. Despite their best efforts, sometimes they face a stalemate, achieving only an increased Formal bounded depth, falling short of complete convergence, all under the looming deadline for project signoff.

Formal Verification and the Greek Phalanx Strategy

The struggle in Formal Verification can be compared to the ancient Greek Phalanx formation. In this strategy, the strength and discipline of each soldier were crucial to the integrity of the whole unit. Similarly, in Formal Verification, the process is only as robust as its least certain element, which is the Formal bounded depth. This analogy underlines the importance of each component in achieving a successful verification process.

Vintage engraving of a Macedonian Phalanx. The phalanx was a rectangular mass military formation, usually composed entirely of heavy infantry armed with spears, pikes, sarissas, or similar weapons.

Strengthening Verification with VC Formal

VC Formal emerges as a vital tool in addressing these challenges. It introduces "Bounded Coverage Analysis," applying traditional simulation-based verification metrics to Formal-based scenarios. Moreover, VC Formal’s capability to visualize RTL in Formal aware Verdi Coverage is a game-changer. It identifies unreachable code and the constraints causing this unreachability, providing valuable insights for strengthening the weakest links in the verification process.

Achieving a Robust Verification Process

Ultimately, just like every soldier in a Phalanx, every aspect of the Formal verification process plays a critical role in determining its overall success. VC Formal equips engineers with the tools necessary to assess and enhance their verification strategies, ensuring a robust and reliable outcome. With this approach, engineers can move closer to achieving their goal of complete and conclusive verification.

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