IBM Haifa's annual verification seminar was held Sunday, October 19, and attended by an overflow crowd of researchers, industry professionals, and university personnel. The fourth in a series of workshops since 1999, the seminar has become a standard and respected event on the calendar of the Israeli verification community. Representatives from leading IT companies, such as Intel, Cisco, and Motorola attended the seminar, as well as researchers from Israel's leading universities.
After more than 170 people signed up for the seminar's preliminary registration, organizers were forced to close registration for the first time in the event's history. Some Haifa IBMers took advantage of the lab's simulcast capabilities, watching the seminar in real-time from their desktops.
Featuring a wide variety of lectures on formal and simulation-based methods of hardware verification, the seminar provided its participants with an opportunity to exchange ideas, get updated on new technological advances, and learn about practical verification applications. In addition to lecturers from Israeli companies and research institutions, the seminar featured two distinguished speakers from outside of Israel-Dr. Wolfgang H. Nebel, from Germany's Oldenburg University, and Dr. Fabio Somenzi, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, who delivered the keynote address.
The seminar combined university lectures on cutting-edge research in verification technology, alongside industry presentations on practical verification methodologies. Eyal Bin, a researcher in the IBM Haifa Labs Software and Verification Technologies department, and one of the seminar's organizers, explained that bringing together verification practice and research is one of the main reasons for holding the seminar.
"Traditionally, research institutions have focused more on formal verification, while simulation-based methods have found more of a place in industry," said Bin. "The seminar addresses both these approaches to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art."
Representative of this combined approach was the lecture presented by Michel Jalfon of Analog Devices. Entitled "Formal Verification or Simulation: Why Not Both?", Jalfon pointed to the practical benefits of combining aspects of both processes in a single verification flow.