Waveform viewer

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A waveform viewer is a software tool for viewing the signal levels of either a digital or analog circuit design. [1]

Contents

Waveform viewers comes in two varieties:

  1. simulation waveform viewers for displaying signal levels of simulated design models, and
  2. in-circuit waveform viewers for displaying signal levels captured in-circuit while debugging or testing hardware boards (Also, See Waveform monitor)

Simulation waveform viewers

In integrated circuit design, waveform viewers are typically used in conjunction with a simulation. A waveform view allows an IC designer to see the signal transitions over time and the relation of those signals with other signals in an IC design, which is typically written in a hardware description language. Simulators can be used to interactively capture wave data for immediate viewing on a waveform viewer; however, for integrated circuit design the usage model is typically to save the output of simulation runs by running batch jobs and to view the waveforms off-line as a static database. [1]

Integrated circuit design Engineering process for electronic hardware

Integrated circuit design, or IC design, is a subset of electronics engineering, encompassing the particular logic and circuit design techniques required to design integrated circuits, or ICs. ICs consist of miniaturized electronic components built into an electrical network on a monolithic semiconductor substrate by photolithography.

In computer engineering, a hardware description language (HDL) is a specialized computer language used to describe the structure and behavior of electronic circuits, and most commonly, digital logic circuits.

Waveform viewers allow you to zoom in and out over a time sequence, and take measurements between two cursor points. In addition, the waveform view has many ways of displaying signal information, such as in hexadecimal, binary, or a symbolic value. [1]

Hexadecimal numerical system on base 16

In mathematics and computing, hexadecimal is a positional numeral system with a radix, or base, of 16. It uses sixteen distinct symbols, most often the symbols "0"–"9" to represent values zero to nine, and "A"–"F" to represent values ten to fifteen.

A binary code represents text, computer processor instructions, or any other data using a two-symbol system. The two-symbol system used is often "0" and "1" from the binary number system. The binary code assigns a pattern of binary digits, also known as bits, to each character, instruction, etc. For example, a binary string of eight bits can represent any of 256 possible values and can, therefore, represent a wide variety of different items.

Most waveform viewers can read an industrial standard waveform database known as Value Change Dump (VCD) or a proprietary wave format. The proprietary wave formats usually have faster record and playback speeds or require smaller memory store space, or save additional signal information for viewing, such as bus transactions. [1]

In-circuit waveform viewers

These are built into most logic analyzer, data acquisition cards, and automatic test equipment. In-circuit waveform viewers are included with products from:

Logic analyzer

A logic analyzer is an electronic instrument that captures and displays multiple signals from a digital system or digital circuit. A logic analyzer may convert the captured data into timing diagrams, protocol decodes, state machine traces, assembly language, or may correlate assembly with source-level software. Logic analyzers have advanced triggering capabilities, and are useful when a user needs to see the timing relationships between many signals in a digital system.

Data acquisition all methods of simultaneous or sequential time measurement and counting for measurable or quantifiable data and groups of contiguous data

Data acquisition is the process of sampling signals that measure real world physical conditions and converting the resulting samples into digital numeric values that can be manipulated by a computer. Data acquisition systems, abbreviated by the acronyms DAS or DAQ, typically convert analog waveforms into digital values for processing. The components of data acquisition systems include:

Automatic test equipment apparatus used in Hardware testing

Automatic test equipment or automated test equipment (ATE) is any apparatus that performs tests on a device, known as the device under test (DUT), equipment under test (EUT) or unit under test (UUT), using automation to quickly perform measurements and evaluate the test results. An ATE can be a simple computer-controlled digital multimeter, or a complicated system containing dozens of complex test instruments capable of automatically testing and diagnosing faults in sophisticated electronic packaged parts or on wafer testing, including system on chips and integrated circuits.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Verilog, standardized as IEEE 1364, is a hardware description language (HDL) used to model electronic systems. It is most commonly used in the design and verification of digital circuits at the register-transfer level of abstraction. It is also used in the verification of analog circuits and mixed-signal circuits, as well as in the design of genetic circuits. In 2009, the Verilog standard was merged into the SystemVerilog standard, creating IEEE Standard 1800-2009. Since then, Verilog is officially part of the SystemVerilog language. The current version is IEEE standard 1800-2017.

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Silvaco

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TARGET (CAD software)

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Arbitrary waveform generator piece of electronic test equipment used to generate electrical waveforms

An arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) is a piece of electronic test equipment used to generate electrical waveforms. These waveforms can be either repetitive or single-shot in which case some kind of triggering source is required. The resulting waveforms can be injected into a device under test and analyzed as they progress through it, confirming the proper operation of the device or pinpointing a fault in it.

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CircuitLogix

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A Bus Functional Model or BFM is a non-synthesizable software model of an integrated circuit component having one or more external buses. The emphasis of the model is on simulating system bus transactions prior to building and testing the actual hardware. BFM's are usually defined as tasks in Hardware description languages (HDLs), which applies stimulus to the design under test/verification via complex waveforms and protocols. A BFM is typically written in an HDL language such as verilog, VHDL, SystemC, or SystemVerilog.

CAMeL-View TestRig is a software application developed by iXtronics, which is used for the model based design of mechatronic systems.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Janick Bergeron, Writing Testbenches: Functional verification of HDL Models, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000