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Thaker q3 2008


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Thaker q3 2008

  1. 1. Verification Strategy for PCI-Express Presenter: Pradip Thaker July 4th, 2008
  2. 2. Outline PCI-Express Protocol Overview Verification Paradigm Design-for-Verification (Well-aligned implementation and verification architectures) A key ingredient for a timely verification closure 2
  3. 3. PCI to PCI Express Limitations of PCI Not enough bandwidth 32-bit/33 MHz (132 MB/s) 64-bit/66 MHz (528 MB/s) Shared bus bandwidth No support for Isochronous applications (TDM or Synchronous Traffic application) Cost of hardware for parallel busses Evolution Path Growing faster is the only possibility (not wider) Point-to-point communication (Shared bus connectivity impossible above 100/150 MHz) CDR architecture (Speed limitation of a synchronous bus above few hundred MHz) Backward compatibility – a must Fast forward to future – PCI Express (PCIe) Packet-level data-units over high-speed SERDES based connectivity Layered architecture – much like networking protocols Mechanical, Physical, Data-link, Transaction, Software and System Layers Compatible with existing PCI software infrastructure Weird wedding of two distinct architectural and business practices – Networking and Computer Creation of nightmarish scenario for chip verification (Details on later slides) 3
  4. 4. PCI-Express Protocol Overview - Terminology Dual Simplex – a related set of two differential pairs (Tx and Rx) Lane – “Dual Simplex” when PCI-Express compliant Port – A group of Txs and Rxs within a single device that represent a single connection to PCI-Express fabric Link – Two ports and the collection of lanes that interconnect them x1, x4, x8, xN – Number of lanes within a port or a link Upstream – Flow of traffic towards the CPU or a port that establishes link in that direction within the hierarchy Downstream – Flow of traffic away from the CPU or a port that establishes a link in that direction within the hierarchy Ingress Port – the portion of a PCIe port that receives the incoming traffic Egress Port – the portion of a PCIe port that transmits outgoing traffic Root Complex – The combination of a PCIe host bridge and one or more downstream ports Endpoint – A device that terminates a path within the hierarchy Bridge – A device that physically and electrically connects PCIe to another protocol Switch – A device that provides a physical connection between two or more PCIe ports 4
  5. 5. PCI-Express Hierarchy 5
  6. 6. PCI-Express Protocol Overview : Physical Logical Functions 8B/10B Encoding and Decoding Scrambling Reset, initialization, multi-lane de-skew Lane mapping Adjustments of bit-transmission order for various throughput options (x1 through x32) Logical idle behavior and transition to active state as per protocol TLP and DLLP transmission and reception: Insertion and Processing of Special Symbols per protocol conditions Link initialization (recovery from link errors, transition from low power states) Link negotiations Width Data-rate Lane reversal Polarity inversion Link synchronization Bit-wise per lane Symbol-wise per lane Lane-to-lane de-skew Ordered (TS and Skip) set handling and processing Fast training sequence Link power management Delay insertions as per protocol……………………more that could not fit here Electrical Functions Link within 600 ppm at all times Spread spectrum clocking AC coupling Interconnect parasitic capacitance adherence Receiver DC commong mode voltage of 0 V Transmitter DC common mode established during “Detect” Receiver Detect under various scenarios Total jitter Maximum loss budget De-emphasis Maximum BER Beacon………………………………more that could not fit here 6
  7. 7. PCI-Express Protocol Overview : Data-link Layer Link management DL_UP, DL_Down, DL_Inactive, DL_Active, DL_Init state transitions Slot power limit handling Propagation of link-reset downstream Point-to-point reliable data exchange Error detection, re-try as well as Error Logging and Reporting Power Management message decoding, state transitions for activation and de-activation TLP sequence number generation and tracking LCRC computation and decoding DLLP integrity encoding and decoding ACK/NAK generation and processing ACK time-out notification and handling Flow control computation, tracking and processing – Credit based flow-control Data poisoning Completion Time-out Re-transmission of packets Package storage for re-try/replay DLLP generation, processing and actuation based on current status ACK DLLP NAK DLLP InitiFC1 InitFC2 UpdateFC Power Management Vendor specific Cut-through routing TLP/DLLP ordering permutations per protocol TLP integrity check insertion and processing ACK/NAK latency timer rules processing a limit-triggered response………………….more that could not fit here 7
  8. 8. PCI-Express Protocol Overview : Transaction Layer Flow control management TL manages, DL executes Point-to-point, not end-to-end Independent for each VC ID Mechanism presumes “Ideal” conditions Credit types – PH, PD, NPH, NPD, CPLH, CPLD Data transactions TLP storage and processing for transmission or consumption TLP generation: Header, Payload and Digest TLP generation and handling of various lengths (4 Bytes to 4096 Bytes) Transaction types Memory (32-bit and 64-bite addressing) I/O Configuration Message INTx PME ERR Unlock Slot Power Hot Plug Vendor-defined Transaction Completion Reads and non-posted writes Completion routing is by ID Provide completion status Transaction Ordering Routing rules Arbitration Port arbitration VC arbitration Virtual channels Traffic classes Locked transactions support Isochronous support Advance error processing and reporting………………………….………more that could not fit here 8
  9. 9. PCI-Express Protocol Overview: Summary Open standard containing over 500 pages Many more pages of supporting literature Each line of each page in the standards document is a cryptic edict dictating a specific behavior for each condition and not a detailed explanation about behavior or implementation Much space for protocol detail misinterpretation resulting into mal-function or non-compliance Hundreds of configuration bits – each controlling a complex behavior within the chip with strict adherence to standard dictate to guarantee backward software compatibility No wiggle room to claim bug as a feature!!! 9
  10. 10. Verification Paradigm Chips based on Open-Standard – Pressure Points Technology/Feature differentiator – Marginal or Non-existing Commodity product – Power, Performance and Price Time-to-market – Very Critical First product – To Establish Credible Presence Sub-sequent products with various flavors – To Capture Market Share Bridges: PCI-to-PCIe, SATA-to-PCIe, 1394-to-PCIe, USB-to-PCIe etc. Switches: 4-port x1 throughput, 4-port x4 throughput, 8-port x4 throughput, etc. Root Complex: x1 throughput, x4 throughput, etc. Quality of First Silicon – Critical Verification Plays A Major Role in Success of Chips based on Open-Standard Addresses Two Key Aspects: TTM and Quality of Silicon Verification Execution: Focal Points Functionality Performance Interoperability (Compliance and Compatibility) Verification Platform Architecture and Methodology: Focal Points Re-usability Scalability (Modularity) Comprehensiveness (with leveraging of automation) 10
  11. 11. Verification Strategy: A Broader Definition Verification – A vehicle to deliver chips with “Zero Bugs(!)”, Compliance and Superior performance Performance Modeling (C/C++/SystemC) Architecture and Micro-architecture of Key Data and Control Paths RTL Verification FPGA-based Emulation Compliance and Compatibility testing PCI-SIG certification to be on Integrator’s List Performance verification 3rd party Compliance Checkers and Vectors Mixed-signal Simulations 11
  12. 12. Functional Verification: Four Pillars Coverage-driven constrained-random testing with reference models (HVLs) Reference Model (RFM) Temporal Checkers Protocol Monitors Sequence Generators Constraints Functional Coverage Test-plan Assertion-based verification for key building blocks Detects design errors at the source – increases observability and decreases debug-time Can identify subtle bugs that may be hard to reach with SBV Black-box assertions – Protocol oriented Effective for size/complexity to an extent (memory-size and run-time limitations) Suitable for block-level deployment rather than end-to-end chip-level stand-alone verification method Complex properties are verified through bounded-proof (neither proven nor falsified) Effective for control-path oriented logic (state space exploration rather than data-path logic) verification Assertions when written by engineer other than designer can help detect specification (interpretation) class of errors Asynchronous clock-domain simulations Power-domain simulations – Power Management Compliance Check-list Improper Buffer Insertion, Missing Level Shifters, Missing Power Good, Power Sequencing Tests 12
  13. 13. Functional Verification: CDV (Re-usability and Scalability) 13
  14. 14. Functional Verification: Golden Rules for RFM Reference Model shall be independent of the DUT implementation Reference Model to be created by engineer other than designer of the block Reference Model created in high-level language and hence it does not have any low- level mechanics analogous to RTL implementation to realize functionality Reference Model shall support co-simulation with the DUT in order to predict and verify run-time behavior Reference Model for each block shall be created such that it can be integrated into chip-level verification environment seamlessly Hybrid Modeling Control paths: Cycle-accurate modeling Data paths: Packet-accurate or Data-unit-accurate modeling Fully cycle-accurate model is maintenance nightmare as well as a cumbersome task without significant value-add to verification quality Comprehensiveness (with leveraging of automation) CDV is only as powerful as comprehensiveness of automated checking features of reference model and monitors Can run millions of RTG cycles with comprehensive reference model and monitors without much manual overhead 14
  15. 15. Performance Verification Performance Parameters (to be supported with variable sized packets across mixed-traffic types, across all traffic patterns, mixed VCs and mixed-packet sizes) Aggregate Throughput Latency (to be balanced against power dissipation) Jitter in Latency Availability/Blocking – Internal back-pressure N+1 Performance limitation (small TLPs back-to-back) Flow-control credits Load distribution and balancing (peer-to-peer as well as vertical traffic flows with mixed of traffic types, VCs and packet sizes) Link utilization – No bubbles within or between TLPs (really challenging for cut- through mode) Zero tolerance for packet loss Zero tolerance for wrong packet routing 20% overhead lost in 8B/10B coding Small TLPs with header as well as DL layer overhead impacting transaction layer efficiency even with 100% link utilization Traffic-aware flow-control credit updates (large and small TLPs) Performance Modeling (C/C++/SystemC) Architecture and Micro-architecture of Key Data and Control Paths FPGA-based Emulation RTL Verification – Not an adequate method for performance testing for PCIe development 15
  16. 16. Compliance Verification Electrical Compliance Check-list Signal Quality Analysis Eye pattern, jitter and BER analysis Signaling for upstream and downstream Jitter Analysis DLL Clock recovery Interpolation Transition/non-transition eye points Data-Link Layer Compliance Check-list Reserved Fields testing NAK Response Replay Timer Replay Count Link Retrain Replay TLP Order Bad CRC Undefined Packet Bad Sequence Number Duplicate TLP Transaction Layer Compliance Check-list Completion request, completion time-out, read-data Messaging – Legacy interrupts, Native power management, Hot-plug, Error Signaling Flow Control – Initialization, Transmit and Receive States, Negotiated Link Width Virtual Channel System Architecture/Platform-configuration Check-list Capability registers testing Default values Stress test Slot reporting Hot plug event reporting 16
  17. 17. Compliance Verification Separate compliance check-list with some overlap for RC, Endpoints and Switches Integrated PHY in the silicon FPGA platforms with discrete PHY and digital logic FPGA-based emulation (Native or 3rd Party) Compliance testing with Agilent PTC and PCI-SIG Golden Suite Compatibility testing with over 80% of the systems during PlugFest PCI-SIG certification to be on Integrator’s List Native protocol checkers – static and temporal 3rd party Compliance Checkers and Vectors Synopsys, Denali, nSys and others 17
  18. 18. Design-for-Verification Cafeteria Architecture: Modular and Scalable For rapid deployment of various flavors of bridges and switches based on flagship platform part Speed of Capturing market-share as critical as first product deployment to establish credible presence Modular architecture to enable thorough block-level or sub-system level simulations Functional partitioning to reduce scope of chip-level verification effort and complexity Push v/s Pull Inter-block Data-threads Distributed v/s Centralized Control Processing Standardized block interface Reduce scope of “Error of Specification” and “Error of Omission” Promote verification component re-use (BFMs, Sequences, etc.) Minimum number as well as flavors of physical interconnects between blocks (may use in-band signaling where applicable) Emphasis on correct-by-construction practices during design-creation phase Otherwise TTM Window will be missed due to prolonged verification or multiple re- spins (PCIe non-forgiving of bugs that hamper compliance or compatibility) 18
  19. 19. Thank You! 19