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SystemVerilog for Verification Specialists

Standard Level - 4 days

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SystemVerilog (IEEE 1800™), the successor to the Verilog® hardware description language, has become the dominant language standard for functional verification. SystemVerilog significantly enhances the capabilities of Verilog in a number of areas, offering productivity improvements for RTL designers, assertions, and constrained random stimulus generation for verification engineers.

SystemVerilog for Verification Specialists provides a 4 day training program to fulfil the requirements of verification engineers or those wishing to evaluate SystemVerilog's applicability for complex verification application. It is structured to enable engineers to develop their skills to utilise the full breadth of SystemVerilog features for verification. This includes how to exploit the potential of class-based verification and object oriented techniques using SystemVerilog, as well as application for standard test bench development and module-based verification.

The course assumes Verilog knowledge but no prior SystemVerilog knowledge. VHDL users preparing to use SystemVerilog should consider preparatory training with the 2 day Fast Track Verilog for VHDL Users.

The course includes an introduction to UVM (and OVM) but full scope project readiness in UVM requires follow-on training with the 4 day UVM Adopter Class.

Design engineers (FPGA or ASIC) who intend to use SystemVerilog for RTL design and basic test bench development should attend the companion training course SystemVerilog for New Designers.

Workshops comprise approximately 50% of class time, and are based around carefully designed exercises to reinforce and challenge the extent of learning.

Doulos is an independent company, enabling delegates to receive the benefit of objective tuition while learning in the context of their chosen tool and methodology. Leading tools supported for this course include:

  • Aldec Riviera-PRO™
  • Cadence Incisive®
  • Mentor Graphics Questa®
  • Synopsys VCS®


Other tools may be available on request. Please contact Doulos if your preferred tools are not listed here. 

Who should attend?

  • Verification engineers aiming to deploy coverage driven verification approaches for the first time using SystemVerilog
  • Verification engineers wishing to migrate to SystemVerilog class-based verification from other established verification languages and test bench automation techniques


What will you learn?

The course is structured into distinct sections.

  • Introduction to SystemVerilog (days 1-2) lays the foundations for learning the SystemVerilog language for verification. This includes:

    • SystemVerilog Assertions (½ day) teaches the principles of assertion-based design and verification and the features of the SystemVerilog Assertion language.

    • Module-based SystemVerilog Verification (¾ day) teaches the verification features of SystemVerilog that can be used in module-based code. It also provides a foundation for class-based verification.

  • Class-based SystemVerilog Verification (days 3-4) describes how to write sophisticated constrained-random, coverage-driven, object-oriented testbenches. This material leverages Doulos's years of experience in teaching object-oriented verification concepts, making these challenging topics accessible to engineers with a wide variety of backgrounds. This course has been specifically tailored to provide the ideal preparation for learning UVM or a similiar verification methodology.

SystemVerilog for Verification Specialists provides the essential SystemVerilog language foundations for learning the OVM, VMM, or UVM verification methodologies. Doulos also offers follow-on training in each of these specific methodologies. For further details, see OVM Adopter Class, VMM Adopter Class, and UVM Adopter Class.


A good working knowledge of Verilog is essential.

For engineers with no HDL knowledge or experience the Doulos Comprehensive Verilog course or equivalent is an essential precursor.

For engineers with no Verilog knowledge but with working experience of VHDL, Doulos offer a Fast Track Verilog for VHDL Users class in a format tailored to equip delegates with the necessary foundation for SystemVerilog. This class is usually scheduled in the same location prior to the Comprehensive SystemVerilog course. See Course Schedule for the latest scheduling information.

For onsite courses, precursor training in Verilog can be tailored to the specific team profile and combined with appropriate SystemVerilog modules to fully address team needs (see Modular SystemVerilog). Contact Doulos to discuss options that suit your needs.

Training materials

Doulos class materials are renowned for being the most comprehensive and user friendly available. Their style, content and coverage is unique in the HDL training world, and has made them sought after resources in their own right. The materials include:

  • Fully indexed class notes creating a complete reference manual
  • Workbook full of practical examples and solutions to help you apply your knowledge
  • Doulos SystemVerilog Golden Reference Guide for language, syntax, semantics and tips


Structure and Content


Introduction to SystemVerilog (days 1-2)



What is SystemVerilog? • Language Evolution • SystemVerilog Language Features • Caveats • The UVM Family Tree • Books and Resources

Verilog versus SystemVerilog

Logic Type • Reg, Logic, and Bit • Nets versus Variables - Refresh • Wire versus Var

Programming Language Features

C-Like Language Features • Static vs Automatic Variables • Static vs Automatic Tasks • ++, --, and Assignment Operators • Labeling • Time Units • Do While Loop • Immediate Assertions • join_none and join_any • Enhanced Tasks and Functions • Task and Function Arguments • Void Functions • Argument and Return Types • Type string • $sformat and $sformatf

Bus-Functional Modeling

Simple Module-Based BFM • Testbench using BFM • Separate Test from Test Harness

Basic Data Types

4-state and 2-state Types • Initial Values • Caveats with Signed Types • Enumerations • Type-Checking of Enumerations • struct • typedef struct • Packed Struct • Packed and Unpacked Arrays • Indexing Multidimensional Arrays • Packages • Packages and Ports


Simple Interface • Package versus Interface • Instantiating an Interface • Accessing Interface Members • Ports and Parameters on Interfaces • Pin-Level Interface • Modports • Generic Interface Ports • Task/Function in Interface • Calling Task through Interface Port

SystemVerilog Assertions

The SVA Language

What are Properties? • Property versus Assertion • Benefits Of Assertions • Who Writes Properties? • Immediate and Concurrent Assertions • Immediate Assertions • Assertion Failure Severity • Concurrent Assertions • Temporal Behaviour • Clocks and Default Clocks • Holds and Implication • Non-overlapped Implication • Simulation of Assertions • Assertion Coverage • Simulation and Cover Property • Binding

Properties, Assertions and Sequences

Implication • Properties are checked on every clock • |=> and |-> • $rose() and $fell() • $rose() vs posedge • $past() • $sampled() • Properties using Expressions • Named Properties • Sequences – Basic Syntax • Concatenation • Repetition • Consecutive Repetition • Unbounded Repetitions • Zero Repetitions • Non-Consecutive and Goto Repetition • Sequence versus Implication • $rose() and $fell() versus Sequence

More on Properties & Sequences (Optional Topic)

Sequence Operators • Sequence Or • Sequence and • Non-Length-Matching and • Sequence Length-Matching and • Throughout • Within • first_match • Property Operators • Beware Negating Implications • Operator Precedence • Named Sequences and Properties • Sequence Completion • Variables and Procedures in Sequences • Detecting the Endpoint of a Sequence • Turning Assertions Off

Module-based SystemVerilog Verification

Clocking Blocks

Clocking Block Syntax • Input and Output Skew • Creating a Clocking Block • Testbench and Clocking Block • Cycle Delays and Clocking • Input and Output Skew Syntax Summary • Scheduler Regions • Stimulus and Response • Signal Aliasing • Multiple Clocking Blocks • Driving a Net • Clocking Blocks in Interfaces • Clocking Blocks versus Programs


Constrained Random Verification • Random Numbers in SystemVerilog • std::randomize • Constraint Syntax • Seeding and Random Stability • Saving & Restoring Seeds • Random Sequence of Valid Actions • Randcase • Randsequence

Arrays and Queues

Dynamic Arrays • Queues • Working with Queues • Queue Methods • Nesting, Assignment Patterns, and %p • Array-like Containers • Associative Arrays • Associative Array Methods • Foreach

Other Language Features (Optional Topic)

$root and $unit • Enumeration Methods • Arrays for Multidimensional Structures • Initializing an Unpacked Array • Replication in an Assignment Pattern • Packed Arrays and Structures • Pass-by-Copy • Pass-by-Reference • const ref • Array Querying Functions • $bits • Bit-stream Casting • Array Manipulation Methods • Array Locator Methods • Array Ordering Methods • Array Reduction Methods • Other IEEE 1800-2009 Features

The Direct Programming Interface (Optional Topic)

DPI Simulation Flow • Command-line Switches • Importing a C Function • Changing the Imported Function Name • Mapping Data Types of Arguments • Exporting a Function to C • Sandwiches and Transparency • Importing and Exporting Tasks • Scalar Bit and Logic Arguments • Packed Arrays • Decoding the Canonical Representation • String Arguments • Open Array Arguments • Task Return Values • Task Disable Flow • Pure and Context

Class-based SystemVerilog Verification (days 3-4)


Classes for Transactions

Constrained Random Verification • Representing Transaction Data • SystemVerilog Classes • Object = Instance of Class • Constructor • Constructor Arguments

Class Members and Copying

Static Data Members • Constant Data Members • Randomized Data Members • Data Members of Class Type • Forward Typedef • Object Copy with new • Shallow Copy • Deep or Shallow Copy?

Virtual Interfaces

Test Harness and Testbench • Modules versus Classes • Creating the Testbench • Virtual Interface • Building a test harness • Adding a clocking block • Connecting the virtual interface • Accessing a Task through a Modport • Testbench Static Structure • BFM or Driver Class • Testbench Object Structure

Extending Classes for Stimulus

Improved Generator Class • Constrained randomization • Creating an Extended Class • The Inheritance Relationship • Inheriting Class Members • Control Knobs and Constraints • Methods of Extended Class • Derived-class Object, Base-class Variable • Virtual Methods • General-Purpose Infrastructure

TLM and Channels

Reusable Verification Environments • Transaction Level Modeling • Using Channels • Generic Channel and Transaction Classes • Out-of-Block Declarations • Connecting Channels • Getting Data from a Generic Channel • Safe Downcasting with $cast • Type Parameterization of Classes • Running Components with fork...join • fork...join_none • Identifying Forked Processes

Component Hierarchy

Testbench Component Hierarchy • Implementing Relationships • Base Classes (review) • Abstract Class and Pure Virtual Methods • Interface Classes in IEEE 1800-2012 • Component Base Class • Launching a Task with fork...join_none • Customising a Component • Constructing a Component

Monitors and Checkers

Kinds of BFM-Like Component • Monitors and Checkers • Bus Protocol Checking • Modports for Driver and Monitor • Monitor Implementation • Using the Monitored Transactions • Checker Implementation • Mutual Exclusion • Semaphore Class • Checker with Mutual Exclusion

Functional Coverage

Coverage Driven Verification • Verification Planning • From Features to Tests • Covergroups • Embedded Covergroups • Procedural Sampling • Arguments and Options • Coverage Bins • Bins and Coverage • Cross Coverage • Cross Coverage and Labels • Cross Coverage Example • Controlling Cross Bins

More on Constraints (Optional Topic)

Inline Constraints • Overriding Constraints • Procedural Control of Randomization • Procedural Control of Constraints • Constraint Ordering • Function Calls within a Constraint • Constraining Dynamic Arrays • Constraining an Array-of-Objects • Arrays within a Constraint • Hierarchical Constraints • unique • Soft Constraints

Processes and Events (Optional Topic)

The std Package • What is a “process”? • fork...join_none • fork...join_any • wait fork • disable fork • Identifying Processes • Fine-grain Process Control • Process Control Example • Mailbox Class • Using Mailboxes • Enhanced Events

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