SystemVerilog Constraint Layering Examples from John Dickol

DVCon 2015 had a paper by John Dickol titled "SystemVerilog Constraint Layering via Reusable Randomization Policy Classes" that described how SystemVerilog constraints could be layered onto an object. The previous method was to do a factory override or extend the class to get this type of behavior.

I loved the idea. It solves a lot of problems such as having to create and manage extended classes who only exist to further constrain an object. Plus you get the ability to recombine constraints during the sim - which is amazing. In order to make sure I understood his approach and to do the examples myself, I have written out the complete code from his paper. I have made this code available with the author's permission on my Github account here.

The code in the paper builds upon itself with each additive iteration. This means that classes are getting overwritten with new versions of itself and sometimes classes go away as the paper moves on. If you would like to follow along with his paper it might be helpful to have the full source code for each Figure available to experiment with or to reference in the future. The paper sometimes groups many figures into one example. The list below shows what figure from the Dickol paper is represented in which folder. Each folder has a Mentor Questa .do file that can launch the simulation and then print out five example randomizations.

I added a few non-referenced items to the code that are not explicitly described in the paper like: class addr_range and type addr_t. And added a testbench to try out the code examples, but all of the ideas are credited to John Dickol and his excellent paper!

Folder and Figures from paper:

  • A
    • Figure 1
    • Figure 2
    • Figure 3
  • B
    • Figure 4
  • C
    • Figure 5
  • D
    • Figure 6
  • E
    • Figure 7
    • Figure 8
  • F
    • Figure 9
    • Figure 10
  • G
    • Figure 11

Example Command to Simulate with Mentor Questa

cd A
vsim -c -do