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ARM Releases AMBA 3 AXI Assertions

06 March 2006

SystemVerilog and Open Verification Library (OVL) assertions provide “Golden” reference to accelerate broad industry adoption

CAMBRIDGE, UK – Mar. 6th, 2006 - ARM [(LSE: ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMHY)] today announced the production release of AMBA® 3 AXI™ assertions to enable accelerated design and verification of AMBA 3 AXI fabric-based SoCs. Any company can obtain the assertions from ARM in source format, without paying royalties or license fees.

The assertions provide a definitive description of the AMBA 3 AXI protocol thus accelerating AXI adoption and expediting the validation of AXI fabric IP-based designs. By helping ensure protocol compliance they increase confidence in plug-and-play integration of AMBA 3 AXI IP. They also help to build a strong ecosystem of both third-party and internal AMBA 3 AXI verification solutions. Both SystemVerilog Assertions (SVA) and Open Verification Library (OVL) versions are now available.
 
“After discussion and feedback from key Partners, ARM decided the best way to aid companies developing/transitioning to AMBA 3 AXI from previous-generation, on-chip bus (OCB)/on-chip network (OCN) protocols would be to provide a non-proprietary, formal definition of the protocol using accepted industry standards,” said Ben Cade, Fabric IP marketing manager, ARM. “These new assertions offer the benefit of reducing misinterpretation risks from both a design implementation and verification perspective.”

“We have had many successful years designing SoC solutions relying on AMBA, the industry’s de-facto standard for on-chip communication,” said Masakazu Yamashina, general manager of the Mobile Systems Division at NEC Electronics. “AMBA continues to evolve to meet the needs of the most demanding SoCs, and releasing the assertions is a great way to ensure consistency and correct interpretation of the AMBA specifications.”

The industry-leading position of the AMBA protocols ensures that AMBA technology adopters benefit from a powerful ecosystem of tool and IP support. The adoption of the specification has been driven by a clear dissociation from reliance on proprietary solutions for implementation and by an open partnership model for creating the technical specifications. The supply of assertion support for AMBA 3 AXI technology will further improve ease-of-use for adopters of the specification.

“Our mutual customers are increasingly adopting assertion-based technology to increase verification effectiveness and productivity, and we believe they will benefit from free access to the assertions which define the AMBA 3 AXI protocol,” said Steve Smith, senior director of Marketing in the Verification Group at Synopsys, Inc. “ARM and Synopsys have built on more than 10 years of collaboration to validate and optimize the AMBA 3 AXI assertions. The assertions combined with the Synopsys DesignWare® Verification IP for AMBA 3 AXI provide complete protocol verification. In addition, they support Synopsys’ VCS® verification solution, Pioneer-NTB SystemVerilog testbench and Magellan™ hybrid formal analysis tools, and the Verification Methodology Manual for SystemVerilog.”

“With AMBA 3 AXI technology taking over from AMBA 2 AHB as a leading on-chip communication fabric, ARM’s move to make the AXI assertions publicly available is very welcome,” said Dave Tokic, director of marketing for the Verification Division at Cadence Design Systems, Inc. “AXI assertions together with our mixed language Plan-to-Closure Methodology will reduce the verification risk for mutual customers and further accelerate AXI technology adoption. Cadence has a long history of collaboration with ARM on both fabric IP and verification which is further strengthened by this announcement.”
 
“We support ARM’s release of the AMBA 3 AXI protocol rules as publicly available OVL and SVA assertions,” added Ramin Hojati, president of Averant Inc., ARM’s development Partner for the AXI assertion specification and capture process.  “We have worked with ARM to ensure the AMBA 3 AXI protocol is well suited to formal methods of verification and as a result our SolidPC for AMBA 3 AXI tool provides a push button, exhaustive environment for proving designs comply with the AMBA 3 AXI protocol rules.”
 
The AMBA 3 AXI assertions can be downloaded from here.

About ARM 
ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes 16/32-bit RISC microprocessors, data engines, 3D processors, digital libraries, embedded memories, peripherals, software and development tools, as well as analog functions and high-speed connectivity products. Combined with the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. More information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com.

ENDS

ARM and AMBA are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. AXI is a trademark of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. “ARM” is used to represent ARM Holdings plc; its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; ARM Belgium N.V.; AXYS Design Automation Inc.; AXYS GmbH; ARM Embedded Technologies Pvt. Ltd.; and ARM Physical IP, Inc.