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Third-Generation Debugger

by Bryon Moyer

March 07, 2012 at 12:05 PM

SpringSoft just announced the next major version of their popular Verdi debug tool. Calling it Verdi3, they say they’ve done some major upgrades in three areas: the way users work with the tool; the way the tool can interact with other tools; and the engines under the hood.

The first of those three is “simply” a productivity and ease-of-use issue. They redid the GUI, with a couple effects. The first is that what used to be individual windows that you had to click back and forth between are now tiles that fit in a single unifying window so that it feels more like a single tool. Second, you can customize and personalize what tiles go where according to what you’re doing on your project. And when you shut the tool down, it will come back just as you set it – no having to reconstruct the workspace each time.

The interaction with other tools comes via their VIA interchange capability, which we looked at before. While data access was already available, you can now integrate third-party tool windows directly into the cockpit. This is also what enabled the integration with Synopsys’s Protocol Analyzer, announced along with Synopsys’s Discovery VIP launch.

Under the hood, they’ve made three improvements. The first is an improved parser that handles the full Verilog 2009 syntax and leaves behind some of the limitations of the prior parser and improves the incremental save capability. The second is a new version of the FSDB format, FSDB 5.0 that provides a 30% smaller file than the previous version. Finally, they’ve multi-threaded the FSDB reader to improve the “Get Signals” time by 45%.

More information is available in their release.

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