Weekly Meeting - James Ellis, "IC Functional Verification in the Real World"

  • Posted on: 9 April 2014
  • By: admin

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When: April 9nd, 2014 at 11:45am
Where: 308 Snell Engineering

Greetings All,

This week we'll have James Ellis, Director of Engineering at Cavium Networks and ECE Alum, come and speak to us about "IC Functional Verification in the Real World". As usual there will be pizza and drinks. See you there!


While formal verification rules the academic world, this seminar will discuss what is functional design verification and how it is accomplished in leading edge semiconductor design groups in the industry. We will examine the motivations for functional design verification and the different aspects and the roles they have in the complete functional design verification of a chip. We will discuss why simulation still rules the day and the areas where formal verification adds value. Finally we will discuss some future opportunities to advance verification and some possible research in simulation based approaches that academia could pursue.


Jim Ellis is currently Director of Engineering at Cavium Networks in Marlborough, MA. Jim joined Cavium Networks in 2001 as its first permanent verification engineer and has verified key blocks on every chip and has built the verification group. Prior to Cavium, Jim was Lead Consulting Engineer for Verisity Design Inc. Joining Verisity in 1997, Jim was one of the early technical members of the company in the field and architected functional verification environments for some of the world's leading chip and networking companies. Jim spent much of his career at Digital Equipment Corp's Semiconductor Division where he served in verification architect and verification leader roles on several Alpha processors including the 21164 floating point unit. Jim also worked on the functional verification of several VAX CPUs. He has been issued 2 patents including one in the field of functional verification. He earned a BSEE from Northeastern University in 1988.