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 Lab Notes - Regression Sim on Modelsim 8/26/2014

During regression simulation, more often than not you find yourself in a situation where you need to run a long list of test cases. And here is something that might be useful:

*) For the same .do or .tcl file, use "source xxx.do" will run it in batch mode, while use "do xxx.do" will run it in command line mode. The difference in those two modes is how the break is treated. For "source xxx.do", you can view it as run with "onbreak {resume}". i.e, if you use $stop in your code, you current simulation will resume and continue on, and the command that follows the "vsim xxx: will be executed.  While for "do xxx.do", the action after $stop will depend on the onbreak setting. You can set "onbreak {pause}" to pause the simulation and let you check the wave, or you can use onbreak{resume}, which will execute the next command that follows "vsim xxx" in the do file.

*) For regress test, you would kind like to let the simulation move on to the next case if everything works out, otherwise you might prefer to pause the simulation at the point where it fails. However, just by setting onbreak {pause} is not enough under this circumstance. If you simply calling $stop for the passing case, the simulation will still pause and balk the simulation flow. One way to exit the current simulation gracefully is to shut off the clock and all other active signals, so the Modelsim will quit naturally due to the lack of active events (Ref [1])

*) Ref[1] also showed some other tips that are worth noting for regression test simulation.

So the do file for your regression test might look like the following:

...
set total_num_of_cases 1000;list


for {set i 0} {$i < $total_num_of_cases} {incr i} {
    vsim xxxxxxx
    add log -r sim:/tb_xxx/*
    onbreak {pause}
    run -all
    quit -sim
    puts "Hi, Test case $i is done"
}
...

*) BTW, on a different note, Prof Harris rocks! (Ref[2])

References:
 [1] Modelsim Tips & Tricks

 [2] Fredric J. Harris, Multirate Signal Processing for Communication Systems, May 2004

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    Posted by HAx4 at 12:20 AM 0 Comments  

 Lab Notes - Build boost library for old version VC 6/09/2014

If you are like me, who has installed both VC Express 10.0 and VC Express 12.0 on the same PC, and you want to build boost library for the old version VC Express (10.0 in this case), this post is for you:

Now by default, all the boost build will go for ver 12.0. If you want to build for ver 10.0, do as following:

*) open command prompt 

*) run vcvarsall.bat from VC Express 10.0 installation directory

*) go to boost folder, and do "bootstrap.bat vc10"

*) edit project-config.jam, change the relevant line to "using msvc : 10.0 ; "

*) type in ".\b2" to start the building processing

Good Luck!

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    Posted by HAx4 at 12:20 AM 0 Comments  

 Can’t Find Script Engine “VBScript” 4/04/2014

To keep an eye on Windows Script Host, some Anti-Virus software will play tricks in Windows Registry by replacing the default vbscript.dll with their own hooks. And these hooks might become the source of trouble.

One thing puzzles me lately is that I start to see the message  Can’t Find Script Engine “VBScript” quite often. And my PC is running Windows 7 64 bit. After some googling, I found a solution as in Ref [1]. However, the job is only half done. Although I can now run the VB Script in Windows Command Prompt, the same script will fail if I run it in Visual Studio Express as Build Script.

And after some head scratching, I found that there is another Registry Entry for VBScript Engine on 64 bit Windows 7, which is


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{B54F3741-5B07-11cf-A4B0-00AA004A55E8}\InprocServer32

And it should be modified to "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\vbscript.dll". Please see Ref[1] for more detail on how to bypass the secure protection when modifying the Registry key.


References :
[1] How To Fix The Error: Can’t Find Script Engine “VBScript” For Script

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    Posted by HAx4 at 3:15 AM 0 Comments  

 Lab Notes - Lmutil Kill License 3/06/2014

Every engineer needs to make a living, so is every software engineer. And license is an important piece of that big pie. Often times, FLEXlm is used to manage the license.

Occasionally, the license hangs due to crash on the client side. And here is how to kill a zombie license:

Use lmutil stat -a 

to find out that hanging license, which includes:

license_name
user_name
license_server_name
port_number on the license server
user_name
user_computer
display


And use the following to remove the hanging license:

lmutil lmremove -c port_num@server_name license_name user_name user_computer display

*) Sometimes "display" is the same as user_computer, sometimes it is just a number. (probably with an underscore in the middle)

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    Posted by HAx4 at 10:39 PM 0 Comments  

 Quote from House of Cards 2/24/2014

Opening Scene:

There are two kinds of pain. The sort of pain that makes you strong, or useless pain... the sort of pain that is only suffering. I have no patience for useless things. Moments like this require someone who can act, or do the unpleasant things, or the necessary thing.

PS: You can use http://cn-proxy.com to get a Chinese IP address. Don't ask me why I need a Chinese IP address. :-)

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    Posted by HAx4 at 12:31 AM 0 Comments  

 Lab Notes - FPGA Sample Dump 2/08/2014


Adopting FPGA for digital signal processing is a hard job. Often times the implementation behaves far differently than the Matlab simulation. And being able to dump samples in large buffer is vital under such unfortunate circumstance. For Altera FPGA, there are mainly 3 ways to dump samples in large quantity:

(1)    Using sigtap. To save buffer space, storage qualifier or segmented buffer should be used if necessary.  The downside of sigtap is that its maximum depth is always 128K in spite of buffer width, so some extra shift register or script post-processing is needed to accommodate large sample buffers.

(2)    Using In System Memory Editor and In System Probe and Source. Tcl script can be used with quartus_stp. The help under quartus_sh –qhelp does provide nice examples and templates for script to work. A sample Tcl script might be something like the following:

# hardware and device detection
puts "Programming Hardware:"
foreach hardware_name [get_hardware_names] {
                puts $hardware_name
                if { [string match "USB-Blaster*" $hardware_name] } {
                                set usbblaster_name $hardware_name
                }
}
puts "\nSelect JTAG chain connected to $usbblaster_name.\n";

puts "\nDevices on the JTAG chain:"
foreach device_name [get_device_names -hardware_name $usbblaster_name] {
                puts $device_name
                if { [string match "@1*" $device_name] } {
                                set test_device $device_name
                }
}
puts "\nSelect device: $test_device.\n";

set probe_instance_info [get_insystem_source_probe_instance_info -hardware_name $usbblaster_name -device_name $test_device]

puts "Select Probe $probe_instance_info"

puts [get_editable_mem_instances -hardware_name $usbblaster_name -device_name $test_device]


##########################

start_insystem_source_probe -hardware_name $usbblaster_name -device_name $test_device
begin_memory_edit -hardware_name $usbblaster_name -device_name $test_device

save_content_from_memory_to_file -instance_index 0 ….


end_memory_edit
end_insystem_source_probe


##… script post processing for exported files


(3)    Hardware in the loop, with Matlab. The matlab will use the systemconsole object to talk to the FPGA and get sample dumps through system console.

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    Posted by HAx4 at 12:10 AM 0 Comments  

 Spectrum Analyzer : Power Measurement 8/02/2013

In Spectrum Analyzer, the measurement of power can be done by using MEAS/Channel Power. However, for CW, the measurement is different from that of band power, as indicated in Ref[1].

Also, the detect type matters. For CW, Pos Peak, or sample might be suitable. For band power, Log Average can be set. So when you read power number from the marker, make sure you set the proper detect type.

References:
[1] Spectrum Analyzer CW Power Measurements and the Effects of Noise, December 2012 edition of NCSLI Measure: The Journal of Measurement Science

    Posted by HAx4 at 3:28 AM 0 Comments  

   

 

    

    
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