What is a driver ?
UVM driver is an active entity that has knowledge on how to drive signals to a particular interface of the design. For example, in order to drive a bus protocol like APB, UVM driver defines how the signals should be timed so that the target protocol becomes valid. All driver classes should be extended from
uvm_driver, either directly or indirectly.
Transaction level objects are obtained from the Sequencer and the UVM driver drives them to the design via an interface handle.
Steps to create a UVM driver1. Create custom class inherited from
uvm_driver, register with factory and call
2. Declare virtual interface handle and get them in build phase
// my_driver is user-given name for this class that has been derived from "uvm_driver" class my_driver extends uvm_driver; // [Recommended] Makes this driver more re-usable `uvm_component_utils (my_driver) // This is standard code for all components function new (string name = "my_driver", uvm_component parent = null); super.new (name, parent); endfunction // Code for rest of the steps come here endclass
3. Code the
// Actual interface object is later obtained by doing a get() call on uvm_config_db virtual if_name vif; virtual function void build_phase (uvm_phase phase); super.build_phase (phase); if (! uvm_config_db #(virtual if_name) :: get (this, "", "vif", vif)) begin `uvm_fatal (get_type_name (), "Didn't get handle to virtual interface if_name") end endfunction
// This is the main piece of driver code which decides how it has to translate // transaction level objects into pin wiggles at the DUT interface virtual task run_phase (uvm_phase phase); // Loop the following steps // 1. Get next item from the sequencer // 2. Assign data from the received item into DUT interface // 3. Finish driving transaction endtask
UVM Driver-Sequencer handshake
UVM driver is a parameterized class which can drive a specific type of transaction object. The driver has a TLM port of type
uvm_seq_item_pull_port which can accept the parameterized request object from the
uvm_sequencer. It can also provide a response object back to the sequencer and usually the class type of both request and response items are the same. However, they can be different if explicitly specified.
The UVM driver uses the following methods to interact with the sequencer.
|get_next_item||Blocks until a request item is available from the sequencer. This should be followed by |
|try_next_item||Non-blocking method which will return |
|item_done||Non-blocking method which completes the driver-sequencer handshake. This should be called after |
How are driver/sequencer API methods used ?
The idea behind a driver/sequencer handshake mechanism is to allow the driver to get a series of transaction objects from the sequence and respond back to the sequence after it has finished driving the given item so that it can get the next item.1.
This use model allows the driver to get an object from the sequence, drive the item and then finish the handshake with the sequence by calling
item_done(). This is the preferred use model since the driver need to operate only when the sequencer has an object for the driver. Here,
finish_item call in the sequence finishes only after the driver returns
virtual task run_phase (uvm_phase phase); my_data req_item; forever begin // 1. Get next item from the sequencer seq_item_port.get_next_item (req_item); // 2. Drive signals to the interface @(posedge vif.clk); vif.en <= 1; // Drive remaining signals, put write data/get read data // 3. Tell the sequence that driver has finished current item seq_item_port.item_done(); end
The difference between this model and the previous one is that here, the driver gets the next item and sends back the sequence handshake in one go, before the UVM driver processes the item. Later on the driver uses the
put method to indicate that the item has been finished. So,
finish_item call in the sequence is finished as soon as
get() is done.
virtual task run_phase (uvm_phase phase); my_data req_item; forever begin // 1. finish_item in sequence is unblocked seq_item_port.get (req_item); // 2. Drive signals to the interface @(posedge vif.clk); vif.en = 1; // Drive remaining signals // 3. Finish item seq_item_port.put (rsp_item); end endtask
UVM Driver Example
class my_driver extends uvm_driver #(my_data); `uvm_component_utils (my_driver) virtual dut_if vif; function new (string name, uvm_component parent); super.new (name, parent); endfunction virtual function void build_phase (uvm_phase phase); super.build_phase (phase); if (! uvm_config_db #(virtual dut_if) :: get (this, "", "vif", vif)) begin `uvm_fatal (get_type_name (), "Didn't get handle to virtual interface dut_if") end endfunction task run_phase (uvm_phase phase); super.run_phase (phase); forever begin `uvm_info (get_type_name (), $sformatf ("Waiting for data from sequencer"), UVM_MEDIUM) seq_item_port.get_next_item (data_obj); drive_item (data_obj); seq_item_port.item_done (); end endtask virtual task drive_item (my_data data_obj); // Drive based on bus protocol endtask endclass
Note the following from example shown above :
- Driver is extended from
- A virtual interface handle vif is declared and assigned later in the build_phase().
- Real interface object is retrieved from the database directly into a local variable using
- Get the next data item from sequencer using
- Call drive task to send data in accordance with a bus protocol
- Indicate to the sequencer that the data item has been driven using
The base driver class contains a
uvm_seq_item_pull_port through which it can request for new transactions from the export connected to it. The ports are typically connected to the exports of a sequencer component in the parent class where the two are instantiated.The RSP port needs connecting only if the driver will use it to write responses to the analysis export in the sequencer.
class uvm_driver #(type REQ = uvm_sequence_item, type RSP = REQ) extends uvm_component;
The driver's port and the sequencer's export are connected during the
connect_phase() of an environment/agent class.
virtual function void connect_phase (); m_drv0.seq_item_port.connect (m_seqr0.seq_item_export); endfunction