Re: [SI-LIST] : Waveform comparison metrics

[email protected]
Thu, 29 Jul 1999 16:27:06 -0500


Funny you should post this today - we were just working on this very thing! Our
application is a method to compare lab data with simulation predictions using
IBIS or SPICE models, whichever you happen to have. I am part of a committee
that wrote a document called the "IBIS Accuracy Specification," which you can
find on the IBIS web site under accuracy, if you're interested. We settled on a
twist on your first method, subtraction. First you have to interpolate to put
the waveforms on a common x-axis. (Scopes don't usually allow you to pick dx
while most simulators do.) Then you have to slide the waveforms so that they
both cross some threshold at the same time. Finally you take the absolute value
of the difference between two data points and average these numbers over the
whole set of data points. The method does have its down side. A dc offset will
make the correlation look worse than it really is. Likewise, really good
correlation on one part of the waveform (say, the steady state) can mask really
lousy correlation on another part of the waveform.

I'd be interested in hearing more about your correlation coefficient idea. The
best solution may be to run 2 or 3 metrics, along with a listing of what you
call "basic metrics." Let each metric tell you something different about the
correlation. It would be real nice if we had a piece of shareware to do these
computations. We're leaning toward having our IC vendors provide us with this
kind of data so we can assess model quality. It would be good if everyone were
singing from the same hymnal!

Anybody else have other ideas?

Greg Edlund
Advisory Engineer, Critical Net Analysis
3650 Hwy. 52 N, Dept. HDC
Rochester, MN 55901
[email protected]

"Levin, Alexander" <[email protected]> on 07/29/99 02:06:22 PM

Please respond to [email protected]

To: "'[email protected]'" <[email protected]>
Subject: [SI-LIST] : Waveform comparison metrics

In the course of a design, there are many occasions requiring the comparison
of waveforms to determine "sameness". Several tasks requiring waveform
comparison come to mind: building and checking IBIS models,
comparing/benchmarking simulator tools, and comparing simulated waveforms to
lab measurements. Aside from the basic metrics of rising/falling delay,
ringback amplitude, overshoot/undershoot, is there a repeatable
(automatable?) method which can quantify the degree of matchup between two

Several approaches come to mind, but each carries its own downfalls.
Waveform subraction: Will provide an estimate of the differences between
waveforms, but is extremely sensitive to any time offset.
Correlation coefficient: Analagous to a dot product of the voltage-time
sample points in each waveform. Doesn't capture absolute DC voltage level
shifts; r^2 offers no information about type of mismatch.
FFT: Can capture similarity in edge rates, ringing period, etc. but key
waveform differences may be masked or lost in high frequency noise seen in
FFT's of digital waveforms.
Overlaying and eyeballing: The human eye is an excellent image processing
device, but the statements "looks good" or "that's a lot of overshoot" are
often too subjective.
Apply basic metrics: Measuring rise/fall delay, ringback, over/undershoot,
ringing period, etc. are typically used. Again, however, the interpretation
of the matchup is subjective.

I'm not necessarily looking for a catchall solution, but would be
interesting in hearing about any novel approaches people are using.
Waveform overlay will still have its place, but it would be nice to combine
this with less subjective methods.

Thanks much,
Alex Levin

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