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Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Engineer
-Opportunities and Caree...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Introduction
- Verification Engineer & Manager...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Agenda
- VLSI Job categories - Design, Verific...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
VLSI / Chip designs
● ASIC - Application Speci...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
VLSI
ASIC/SOC
Design
FPGA Design EDA Tools Man...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Design Engineers
Logic / RTL Design (Block, SO...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
EDA Tools Development
(Frontend and Backend To...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Design vs Verification career ?
8
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Design vs Verification
● Continuous increase i...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification
Functional
Verification
Performan...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Opportunities - Functional Verification
● Ensu...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Opportunities - Formal Verification
● Formal T...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Opportunities - Formal Verification
● Formal A...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Opportunities - Performance Verification
● Ver...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Opportunities - Power Verification
● As import...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Opportunities - Clocking Verification
● No mor...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Opportunities - FPGA Emulation/Prototyping
● S...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Opportunities - HW/SW Co-verification
● HW and...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Engineers - Skills
19
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Engineers - Skills
● Demanding bo...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Engineers - Skills
● Analytical t...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Job vs Career
22
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
JOB
Short term regular activity in
exchange of...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Career - Confusions
24
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Career - Confusions
● Is there an...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Career - Facts
● Verification Eng...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Engineer - Career Path
27
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Engineer - Career Path
Entry from...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification - Career Path
29
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Engineer - Career Path
Entry Leve...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Verification Engineer - Career Path
Senior Lev...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Career Development - Steps
● Learn & Explore
○...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
My Career Journey
C-DOT (~2 yrs)
-Board, FPGA ...
Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas
www.verificationexcellence.in
Thank You
34
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Verification Engineer - Opportunities and Career Path

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What are the different opportunities for a VLSI Front end Verification engineer? What career path exists and how to build a career path in Verification of VLSI chip designs?

Sharing my experiences and Career journey as Verification Engineer

Published in: Technology

Verification Engineer - Opportunities and Career Path

  1. 1. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Engineer -Opportunities and Career Path Ramdas M Verification Engineer & Manager Applied Micro (AMCC) Mentor Graphics HEP Program (July 2016) 1
  2. 2. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Introduction - Verification Engineer & Manager - 17 years of experience - Applied Micro, Intel, IBM, C-DOT - www.verificationexcellence.in - Online Teacher & Author - Online courses on Verification - “Cracking Digital VLSI Verification Interviews: Interview Success” - Blogger - - Quora - https://www.quora.com/profile/Ramdas-Mozhikunnath 2
  3. 3. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Agenda - VLSI Job categories - Design, Verification and others - Verification Engineer - Opportunities - Job vs Career - Verification Engineer - Career Path - Career development steps 3
  4. 4. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in VLSI / Chip designs ● ASIC - Application Specific Integrated Circuits ○ A chip custom designed for an application and for a specific customer ● ASSP - Application Specific Standard Parts ○ A chip designed for an application but targeted at a wider market ○ E.g USB controller, PCIE controller chips ● FPGA - Field Programmable Gate Arrays ○ Array of programmable blocks and programmable interconnects ● SOC - System On Chip ○ Integrated processor subsystem, IOs, controllers etc all on a single chip ● FPGA-SOC - FPGAs with embedded processor subsystems 4
  5. 5. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in VLSI ASIC/SOC Design FPGA Design EDA Tools Manufacturing System Design Frontend Backend -Fabrication - Packaging -Wafer sort/testing -Reliability -Board design -Bringup -Validation -Arch/Microarch -Logic/RTL design -Verification -Synthesis, STA -Layout, Routing -Custom Circuits - Library Cells -Mask design -DFT - Scan,BIST 5
  6. 6. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Design Engineers Logic / RTL Design (Block, SOC) Microarchitecture, Architecture Power, Performance Analysis/Estimate, Analog/Mixed-Signal Design (High speed I/O, PLL etc) Custom Circuits/Library Design STA - Static Timing Analysis DFT/DFM (Design for Test/Manufacturing) Verification Engineers Functional Verification Formal Verification Power Aware Verification CDC (Clock Domain Crossing) FPGA Emulation Architecture Modelling Verification IP development DFT/DFM verification 6
  7. 7. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in EDA Tools Development (Frontend and Backend Tools) Tool development Engineer Testing Engineer Field Application Engineer (FAE) Corporate Application Engineer (CAE) Technical Support STA - Static Timing Analysis DFT/DFM (Design for Test/Manufacturing) Silicon & System Validation Board Design, Reference Boards Test Software (firmware, bios), Tools Validation Content Development Validation and Debug HW+SW Validation 7
  8. 8. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Design vs Verification career ? 8
  9. 9. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Design vs Verification ● Continuous increase in complexity of designs ○ More and more integration ○ System On Chip designs ○ IP based design approach ○ Emphasis on low power, high performance, ○ High speed IOs and AMS logic ● Verification is no longer just running tests ○ Advanced Test benches need architecture and design ○ Always more to be verified in lesser time - needing more constant innovation ○ Multiple aspects of verification - Functional, Formal, power, performance, emulation ○ VIP (Verification IP) based approach ○ Debug challenges 9
  10. 10. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Functional Verification Performance Verification Power Aware verification Clocking and CDC verification FPGA/ Emulation Simulation Formal DFT/DFM Verification HW/SW Co Verification 10
  11. 11. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Opportunities - Functional Verification ● Ensuring Functional Correctness ● Majorly Simulation based ● Test bench Architecture and design ○ Developing Agents, BFMs, drivers, checkers, VIPs ○ Defining right tests and methodology ● Microarchitecture and feedback ○ Learning microarchitecture for Test plans, debugs ○ Feedback to design ● Regressions, Automation, Coverage ○ Opportunities to Innovate for quality and faster closure 11
  12. 12. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Opportunities - Formal Verification ● Formal Technologies gaining importance ● Model Checking used increases Verification efficiency ○ Exhaustively covers all input scenarios for correctness ○ Limited to smaller designs/units ● Assertion Based Verification (ABV) ○ Assertions written for Model checking can be used in simulation ○ Works as checker, coverage and debug utility 12
  13. 13. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Opportunities - Formal Verification ● Formal Apps ○ Predefined assertion library for recurring tasks ○ Connectivity checks, X-propagation, register testing, CDC checks, etc ● Challenges (Opportunities) ○ Developing Assertions to capture Model behavior ○ Debugging property failures ○ Need thorough understanding of design/microarchitecture ○ Identifying correct design elements for maximizing benefits of Formal Verification 13
  14. 14. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Opportunities - Performance Verification ● Verifying that design meets the target bandwidth and latency numbers ● Increasingly important with SOC designs having processor & memory subsystems and other IPs along with interconnect designs ● Analyze metrics with realistic stimulus / benchmarks ○ Peak bandwidth, idle and loaded latencies, memory/bus utilization etc ● Opportunities ○ Understanding and modelling realistic stimulus/benchmarks ○ Performance measuring/tracking infrastructure for simulations ○ Debugging design bottlenecks ○ Performance model development 14
  15. 15. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Opportunities - Power Verification ● As important as Functionality Verification ○ A design consuming 2x power than budget is dead and has no workarounds ● Several low power techniques used in current SOC designs ○ Clock gating, Power gating, ● Power Analysis ○ Estimating power at RTL and Gate Level Simulations ○ Define stimulus for peak and average power ● Power Aware Simulations ○ Functional correctness with power domain ON/OFF ○ UPF - IEEE 1801 Standard 15
  16. 16. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Opportunities - Clocking Verification ● No more designs without - multiple and asynchronous clocks ● Clock Domain Crossing (CDC) Verification ○ Synchronizers (2-3 FF for single bit transfers) ○ Async FIFOs (for multi-bit data transfer) ○ Functional RTL simulations might not catch all the issues. ● CDC Verification Methodology with tools ○ Structural - Verifies presence of synchronizers in all signals crossing two clock domains. ○ Functional - Synchronizers are actually working ■ Data loss, Data incoherence problems ■ Tools can infer assertions , use formal approach, inject metastability, vary clock edges .. 16
  17. 17. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Opportunities - FPGA Emulation/Prototyping ● Simulation speedups achieved by moving time consuming hardware to FPGA/emulators ● Opportunities ○ Need more hardware skills (synthesis) and debug ○ Advanced Verification methodologies to deal with emulation friendly design 17
  18. 18. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Opportunities - HW/SW Co-verification ● HW and SW development and Verification happen together ○ Reduces overall product development time ● Opportunities ○ HW Verification engineers works close with SW development/test engineers ○ Innovations in new methodologies and stimulus to verify HW+SW together ○ Understanding overall product development life cycle 18
  19. 19. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Engineers - Skills 19
  20. 20. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Engineers - Skills ● Demanding both HW and SW skills ○ Digital logic, Analog, Computer Architecture, Memories ○ HDLs like SystemVerilog ○ SW Programming Concepts ■ Advanced methodologies like UVM heavily use SW concepts like OOP, factory patterns ○ Version control ■ Build, compile, managing branches ○ Scripting languages ■ Regressions, Automation 20
  21. 21. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Engineers - Skills ● Analytical thinking , Problem solving ○ Think how to break a design ○ Question design approach ○ Solve Debug challenges ● Communication , Collaboration ○ Most projects need team of design and verification engineers ● Innovation and continuous learning ○ Always need to find better ways 21
  22. 22. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Job vs Career 22
  23. 23. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in JOB Short term regular activity in exchange of payment Short term learning to get job done Income depends on job and demand Do bare minimum effort to get job done CAREER Long term process of learning and development to progress through opportunities Continuous skill development through trainings and learnings needed Increased income earning opportunity with enhanced skill-set, knowledge Go above and beyond tasks to grow A long term satisfying journey through life 23
  24. 24. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Career - Confusions 24
  25. 25. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Career - Confusions ● Is there any career path for Verification Engineers? ● Can I move from Verification to Design in my career? ● Does design engineer get paid more than Verification engineer? ● Is it true that design engineers get to work on important stuff while Verification engineers just look at test, coverage, bug? ● Can I move from Verification to Software Engineer? ● Is it possible to move from Frontend to Backend in my career? ● Can I become a good Verification engineer if I don't like programming? 25
  26. 26. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Career - Facts ● Verification Engineer has a solid career path ○ Two decades back - Design engineer tested their designs ○ Today - Verification of a design needs dedicated skills ■ Scope for broader and deeper skills ○ Verification is increasingly complex and critical ■ Verification consumes majority of project time (Avg - 70%) ■ Increasing demand for Verification engineers (12% CAGR as per industry survey) ○ Verification engineers are involved in project from early stage of design ○ Considered at par with design engineers (including compensation) ○ Several well known Verification technologists across industry 26
  27. 27. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Engineer - Career Path 27
  28. 28. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Engineer - Career Path Entry from University - All Technical engineers (Design, Verification, Frontend, Backend, EDA, Validation ) Few years of experience (5+ years) Senior/Staff Engineers - Starts more specialized skills, domain knowledge, more responsibilities Managers Principal Engineers Directors Technologists, Fellows VPs Senior Fellows, Distinguished Engineers 28
  29. 29. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification - Career Path 29
  30. 30. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Engineer - Career Path Entry Level -Learn, Learn, Learn -Small tasks under guidance -Testbench components Develop/Maintain/Enhance -Regressions, debug -Partial Test plan development -Test writing, coverage closure -Automation -Block/IP ownership -Testplan ownership -Testbench infrastructure Definition, development -Test development -Regressions, debug -Tracking self -Meeting commitments -Assist overall planning -Formal/Power/Performance Mid Level 30
  31. 31. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Verification Engineer - Career Path Senior Level -Multiple block/IP/SOC ownership -Defining & implementing Methodologies -Testbench architecture and implementation -Regressions, debug -Design, Verification reviews -Domain expertise -Managing/leading teams -Planning and tracking -Interaction with design/arch/SW -Multiple Project level ownership -Engineering advice, reviews and coordination across design, SW, validation, etc -Business unit/Organizational level methodologies, -Industry level participation in forums -Strategy and new initiatives Executive Level 31
  32. 32. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Career Development - Steps ● Learn & Explore ○ Learn skills, Ask questions, clarify ○ Go above and beyond in taking responsibilities ○ Explore different areas - Functional, Formal, Power etc ○ Seek areas/domain that interests ○ Build trust and credibility ● Plan/Goal ○ Set goals and plan. Find Mentors ○ Develop deeper knowledge/skills to advance ● Action ○ Learn, execute and make use of all opportunities ● Evaluate ○ Self introspection and evaluating progress, interests 32
  33. 33. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in My Career Journey C-DOT (~2 yrs) -Board, FPGA design, testing, validation -2 years and slow learning From College Intel (~5 yrs) -Validation/Emulation (2 yrs) -Processor Verification (2.5 yrs) -New team ramping up, lot of great people to learn from -Started disliking bureaucracy Montalvo(Startup - ~3yrs) -Processor Verification -Small and smart team -Fast pace learning with quality -Lots of development from scratch -Shutdown but gained valuable skills IBM (~2 years) -Processor Verification -Small and new Team ramping up -Greatest processor verification engineer interactions -Slow and relaxed work/pace 33 Teaching, Blogging, writing on Verification, VLSI Applied Micro (Current) Processor Verification Small team with great people New designs, latest methodologies, lead role Intel (~3 yrs) -Graphics Processor verification -HW+SW Verification -Methodology -Lead role
  34. 34. Verification Engineer - Career Path by Ramdas www.verificationexcellence.in Thank You 34

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