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Generate SystemVerilog Assertions and Functional Coverage

SystemVerilog DPI component generation and Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) test bench generation workflows enable you to reuse Simulink® verification models in the resulting SystemVerilog. Simulink model verification blocks such as Assertion (Simulink) or Check Dynamic Lower Bound (Simulink), and calls to verify (Simulink Test) statements create error checks and functional coverage points in the generated SystemVerilog.

When a Simulink assertion or verify call fails, it generates a SystemVerilog error by default. When either succeeds, it generates a SystemVerilog cover point which logs a PASS result. Assertions and verify statement behaviors can be customized using SystemVerilog command line arguments and the HDL Verifier Assertion block. For more information about customization, see Customize Assertion.

Create a Simulink Test Bench Model

In Simulink, create a model for the device under test (DUT), and then create a test bench for the model. You can use a combination of assertion blocks from the Simulink / Model Verification library and blocks that contain verify statements from the Simulink Test library, such as:

Create Simulink Test Sequence

In your test bench model, include a verify statement by adding one or more of these blocks:

To create and edit test steps, use the Test Sequence Editor (Simulink Test). In the test sequence, use verify statements to assess the simulation, as described in Test Sequence and Assessment Syntax (Simulink Test).

The verify statement and the Test Sequence block represent a temporal check in Simulink. When you generate a SystemVerilog DPI component, the temporal logic is located in the generated C code. The SystemVerilog wrapper contains an immediate assertion that triggers when the verify condition is violated.

Include Simulink Model Verification Blocks

You can also include these assertion blocks from the Simulink / Model Verification (Simulink) library.

In addition, you can include the HDL Verifier Assertion block to create customizable assertions. For an example that uses the HDL Verifier Assertion block, see Generate Native SystemVerilog Assertions from Simulink.

In SystemVerilog, every model verification block and verify statement is mapped to an assertion and a coverage point. You can adjust coverage goals, filter specific assertions, and see verbose information for each of the verify statements.

You can use multiple verify statements and assertion blocks in your model.

When simulating your design in Simulink, the simulation warns if the assertion or the verify assessment fails.

Diagnostic Viewer dialog box showing results of simulation: "Test verification failed at t = 7.1 : System should turn off above max on temp."

You can view and inspect the simulation results by using the Simulation Data Inspector (Simulink). Open the Simulation Data Inspector by entering this code at the MATLAB® command prompt.


To view signals over time, select them in the left pane of the Simulation Data Inspector.

Simulation Data Inspector dialog box with two signals selected on the left pane and a graph on the right pane showing that one test passed and one failed.

Customize Assertion

You can customize the SystemVerilog immediate assertion in two ways:

  • Include an HDL Verifier Assertion block, and customize the generated SystemVerilog immediate assertion. You can set a custom message when the assertion fails and can choose between warning, error, or a custom command when the assertion fails. For an example that uses the HDL Verifier Assertion block, see Generate Native SystemVerilog Assertions from Simulink. The result is similar to this figure.

    Input logic connected to a Gain block, which is connected to a DPI customized assertion block

  • To customize an assertion from the Model Verification library, connect the block output to a customizable HDL Verifier Assertion block, by following these steps.

    1. Add a block from the Simulink / Model Verification library to your model.

    2. Open the block mask, and then set these parameters (as shown in this figure):

      • Clear the Enable assertion parameter to prevent redundant assertion outputs.

      • Select the Output assertion signal parameter to create a boolean output signal that captures the assertion.

      Block mask for Check Static Upper Bound block, showing that the Enable assertion parameter is cleared, and the Output assertion signal parameter is selected.

    3. Add an Assertion block from the HDL Verifier / For Use with DPI-C SystemVerilog library, and connect the output signal of the Model Verification block to the input port of the Assertion block.

    4. Customize the Assertion block by following the steps in the Generate Assertions Workflow example.

    The result is similar to this figure.

    A sine-wave generator connected to a static upper bound assertion block, which is connected to a DPI customized assertion block

Generate a UVM or SystemVerilog DPI Component

Configure the Model for Code Generation

In the Configuration Parameters dialog box, select Code Generation in the left pane. Under Target Selection, set System Target File to systemverilog_dpi_grt.tlc or to systemverilog_dpi_ert.tlc when using Embedded Coder®.

Select SystemVerilog DPI in the left pane. Under SystemVerilog Ports, set the data type and connection settings. Click OK.

Generate a UVM or SystemVerilog DPI Component


To generate a UVM or DPI Component, the assertion or test block must be inside a Simulink subsystem.

In Simulink, right-click the subsystem block, which contains the test sequence, and select C/C++ Code > Build This Subsystem. Click Build in the dialog box that opens.

Alternatively, you can use the MATLAB command line to generate the DPI component. Use the slbuild (Simulink) function to build the system. For example, to build a subsystem named "My_verify_tst", enter this code at the MATLAB command line.


You can also use the uvmbuild function to generate a UVM test bench. If your test model contains verify statements, they are mapped to assertions in your UVM environment, and coverage data is collected.

Run HDL Simulation with the Generated Component

Change your current folder to the dpi_tb folder, which is under the code generation folder in your HDL simulator installation. Start your HDL simulator, and run the generated script to start the simulation. The simulation output is consistent with the Simulink output.

After the simulation completes, coverage information is displayed for each assertion. By default, an assertion is considered covered if it was evaluated at least once.

Log file from HDL simulation. The log shows that two verify calls were checked. One was covered in simulation and the other was not.

For additional information on running the HDL simulation, see Verify Generated Component Against Simulink Data.

Filter Assertions and Coverage Reports

Each generated error or warning displays a unique name identifying its origin. That number is the Simulink identifier (SID) of that block. For example, this log shows an error that was generated by a block with SID Req_scenario_4:32:60.

# ** Error: Req_scenario_4:32:60: At step 'Check2' verify id 'Simulink:verify_sc4_off' Failed

You might have several steps in a test sequence that utilize a verify assessment or several DPI components logging warnings from a simulation. In your test model, you can filter the generated output for specific verify checks by specifying the associated SID as a plus argument on the command line and equating the SID to -1. For example, to turn off all of the output and functional coverage for SID Req_scenario_4:32:60, enter this code at the HDL command line.

vsim -c -sv_lib ../Req_4 work.Req_4_dpi_tb +Req_scenario_4:32:60=-1

Adjust Functional Coverage Goals

You can use assertion blocks and verify statements to gather functional coverage during a SystemVerilog simulation. After generating SystemVerilog using the uvmbuild or slbuild (Simulink) functions, define coverage goals for each assertion. After a SystemVerilog simulation completes, view the results in the generated log file, or use a third party tool to extract the results. The default coverage goal is at least one passing execution of the assertion or verify call.

To increase the functional coverage goal for a specific assertion, specify the associated SID as a plus argument in the command line, and equate the SID to your coverage goal. For example, to increase the coverage goal of a verify statement with SID Req_scenario_4:32:60 from the default of one to two passing checks, enter this code at the HDL command line.

vsim -c -sv_lib ../Req_4 work.Req_4_dpi_tb +Req_scenario_4:32:60=2

Verbose Mode

By default, the generated DPI component outputs an error when a functional coverage point is evaluated and fails. To see additional output generated by the functional coverage point, enter the argument +VERBOSE_VERIFY at the HDL simulation command line. This argument adds this additional information:

  • UNTESTED – When the functional coverage point was not evaluated

  • PASSED – When the functional coverage point was evaluated and the test passed

For example, when using ModelSim®, enter this code at the command line.

vsim -c -sv_lib ../Req_4 work.Req_4_dpi_tb +VERBOSE_VERIFY

Trace Generated SystemVerilog Error Back to Simulink Source

After running a SystemVerilog simulation with a generated test sequence, your log file displays warnings and errors. To identify which block originated a specific warning or error output, use the hilite_system (Simulink) function.

For example, to highlight the block that generated a warning for SID Req_scenario_4:32:60, enter this code at the MATLAB command line.


This figure highlights the verify statement and the test sequence block that created the warning.

Image of highlighted Test Sequence block. This block is the source of warnings from SID Req_scenario_4:32:60.

Image of verify statement which created the warning for SID Req_scenario_4:32:60.

For additional information about SIDs, see Simulink Identifiers (Simulink).

See Also


MATLAB Language Syntax

Related Topics