Auditing & Reviews

HDL Code and FPGA Design Reviews and Auditing are often welcome or required :

  • When an FPGA project is critical (or just important enough)
  • When reliability is a key issue.
  • When an FPGA fails to perform reliably in the field, or in a given production batch, or during reliablity tests.
  • When the design is subcontracted, to verify that quality requirements are met.
  • To get a slipping project back on tracks.
  • To estimate early the complexity of a design.
  • and many other circumstances …

Design Review and Auditing is not among our preferred tasks. It is not particularly creative, and it often means delivering bad news (customers suspecting they have a code quality issue are -alas- usually right in their suspicion).

Our preference is when we have trained enough engineers in the company so they can perform the review internally without involving us, but we acknowledge this is not always possible.

So we know Audits and Reviews can be very important to our customers, and we keep them in our list of available Services.

The better side of this is that we can always provide a solution ! We we can’t guarantee the solution will please the customer (we often have to re-design at least parts of the project), but we normally can guarantee we will solve the problems !

If you would like us to review a project or some code, it’s fairly straightforward :

  1. If necessary, we sign an NDA (Confidentiality / nondisclosure Agreement) so you can send us confidential information as needed.
  2. You send us the code of the project and the information to be used for the review (specification is appreciated !).
  3. We quickly send back a commercial quotation (typically within 48 hours) that includes the price, the delay and the list of deliverables. Sometimes, we stop here when we consider that the code is a lost cause and can’t be salvaged (with the widespread trend to outsource the design tasks to weird and faraway locations, this unfortunately happens).
  4. Once you agree, we perform the review and at least two engineers will perform and consolidate it. A report is built and sent back.

The whole process typically takes only a few days and it has a potentially very high ROI due to our mastering of Safe Design Rules and all the previous Failures analysis we have conducted. We can (and often do) predict failures and we identify weaknesses in the design before they can actually hurt the project.

Sometimes, the review is motivated by and focused at detecting a design error to explain failures witnessed in a product (usually in the field).

Don’t imagine that these “Post Mortems” always reveal very intricate issues: over 90% of the failures are due to the breaking of very fundamental Safe Design Rules… another Myth busted !

In any case, if you think you may need us : it does not cost asking.