Products & Services

FirstPass is a full-service, one stop shop that can execute all, or any portion, of the product development process, from concept to production.

Architectural/Definition

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FirstPass has demonstrated expertise in leading development from concept through to production. We understand the relationship between specification and implementation, and know how to partition designs and make trade-offs necessary for performance, risk mitigation and functional flexibility. We are very well versed in technology capability analysis and selection.

Technology Selection


FirstPass is very well versed in technology capability analysis and selection. We have developed a strong level of experience working with a wide range of ASIC foundries and FPGA suppliers.

Design

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Our expertise includes digital, mixed signal, analog, I/O, memories, and very high speed circuitry including SerDes. We also have RTL expertise in both VHDL and Verilog. We have taken hundreds of designs from specification through to fabrication. Probability is high that we have directly related experience that meets your requirements and type of project.

Digital Design

  • VHDL, Verilog
  • RTL, C to RTL
  • Design IP integration
  • DesignWare, process libraries (memory, I/O, SERDES, etc.)
  • 3rd-party design IP
  • Multiple voltage and power domains
  • SOC integration and HW/SW co-design
  • Design-for-synthesis
  • Synopsys Design Compiler, FPGA vendor specific tools
  • Design-for-test
  • Design-for-verification/debug

Analog/Mixed Signal

  • I/O design
  • SerDes, DDR3, Analog
  • PLL, DLL design
  • Band gap reference generator
  • Standard cell libraries
  • SRAM, DRAM
  • Sense amps, current amplifiers
  • Various timing circuits
  • SerDes PHY design and layout

Macros and Protocols

  • CSIX
  • PCIe Gen1/2/3
  • PCI
  • SPI 4.2
  • Infiniband
  • Rapid IO, Serial RIO
  • ARM Core
  • HyperTransport3
  • CPRI
  • SONET
  • SAS  (Serial Attach SCSI)
  • SATA
  • Fibre Channel
  • Ethernet
  • 2-Wire Serial
  • USB
  • XAUI
  • JESD204A/B

…and many more

Synthesis and Timing Closure

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Synthesis and timing closure starts with robust design. We understand how to architect and code to meet timing and optimize power and area. Good synthesis planning pays dividends in physical implementation. We have experience with many synthesis and static timing analysis tools such as Design Compiler, PrimeTime, Synplify, Altera Quartus, Xilinx XST and Magma.

Functional Verification

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FirstPass engineers are verification experts. As ASIC/FPGA and system capabilities have exponentially increased, verification methodologies have changed dramatically. The randomized, object oriented approach to verification has greatly increased the efficiency and quality of pre-silicon simulation. Verification metrics such as code coverage and functional coverage allow us to answer the question “When are we done?” These metrics also provide a good understanding of risk and program tracking. Widespread use of assertions in RTL coding have reduced debug time and increased correlation between specification, design and verification. Formal verification is showing tremendous capabilities as well. We are experts with System Verilog, Vera, and Specman as well as VHDL and Verilog testbenches for lower complexity devices. This verification methodology is the key to FirstPass success!

Process

  • Verification Plan to specify DV approach and function
  • Verification Requirements Matrix to define and track Verification Requirements, coverage methods, priorities
  • Automated reporting of actual coverage results versus Verification Requirements
  • Reviews to monitor and track coverage closure

Methodology

  • Constrained-random generation of stimulus
  • Coverage-driven Verification
  • Stand-alone intelligent agents, checkers, scoreboards
  • Assertions in RTL and Verification code

Implementation

  • SystemVerilog and UVM/OVM/AVM/VMM
  • Fewer test cases, more randomization of setup/traffic
  • Verification IP integration
  • Automated reporting of actual coverage results versus verification requirements
  • Directed testing where necessary or more efficient
  • Verilog, VHDL, e, C/C++/SystemC models and testbenches

Platforms

  • Mentor ModelSim, Questa
  • Cadence Incisive
  • Synopsys VCS
  • Aldec Riviera-PRO

Physical Design

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FirstPass engineers have successfully performed physical implementation of designs onto FPGAs, Gate Arrays, Standard Cell, and transistor level full custom ASICs. We have designed libraries along with Design Rule Check files and Electrical Rule Check files. We have taken many designs from RTL to GDSII release to foundry, and performed all physical verification checks including timing, power, logic equivalency, layout versus schematic, on chip variation, cross talk, etc. Tight integration with the design functions results in a manageable, high performance, low risk and efficient physical implementation.

  • Full custom layout
    • Device matching
    • Parasitic extraction
    • LOD effects
    • Well proximity effects
  • LEF and .LIB generation
  • Place and route
    • Full chip floorplanning
    • Hierarchical and flat design
    • IP integration
    • Physical constraint generation
    • STA and timing closure
    • Power bussing and power analysis
    • Signal integrity
    • Physical verification (LVS, DRC, ERC)

Silicon Validation and Test

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FirstPass currently does not have test facilities. Working with our partners, we have brought multiple designs into production. Our management team has extensive experience coordinating all efforts required for validation and test.

QuickRamp Program (QRP)

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The QuickRamp Program (QRP) is a FirstPass proprietary example of High Level Verification methodology structured under a SystemVerilog UVM methodology. The primary objectives of QRP are to address time-to-market concerns caused by steep learning curves of SystemVerilog UVM efforts, and to promote standardization and re-use of a SystemVerilog UVM environment. This is achieved by providing the end user with an advanced starting point including a robust learning platform, and providing a rich offering of highly re-usable SystemVerilog verification components and methods. QRP can be utilized either as a simple learning platform, or as the seed for a powerful yet flexible working verification environment. Using QRP as a foundation will assure that your verification development effort remains in synchronization with industry leading methods and techniques.

Overview

  • A High Level Verification (HLV) environment for an ASIC or an FPGA
    • The ASIC/FPGA is represented as the Device Under Test (DUT)
    • The DUT is written in Verilog
  • The HLV environment is created using SystemVerilog utilizing UVM methodology
  • Structured as a generic System Verilog test environment with a broad selection of easily customized and highly re-usable components
  • The complete package contains documentation, user’s guide, SystemVerilog components, scripts and coverage data
  • Successfully used by a variety of high profile customers
  • Supplement with optional training and personalized support

Objectives

  • Capitalize on the gains of using an advanced verification methodology while containing development cost/schedule and mitigating risk
  • Powerful learning aid targeted at all skill levels
    • Introductory level demonstration of an HLV environment
    • Self-paced learning platform
    • Reference model for more experienced SystemVerilog UVM users
  • Provides a solid foundation of structure and methodology for a highly re-usable SystemVerilog development environment

Deliverables

  • Documentation
    • QRP Verification Test Plan
    • QRP Verification Test Matrix
    • Coverage report of code and functional coverage
    • QRP User’s Guide
  • DUT RTL with common generic interfaces
  • Verification IP
  • Verification environment
    • Agents, scoreboard, checkers, coverage, assertions, sequences, reg_mem,  etc
  • Scripts