Answer by Ramdas Mozhikunnath:

I  am working as an ASIC verification engineer for last 15+ years and I had the same question in my early stage of career with lots of confusion.
However  I have learned tremendously  over the years working on Verification of several complex design projects at different companies and working with some of the greatest people and technologies.  I still continue to enjoy a career in Verification and here are my inputs  based on what I have seen:
1)  Over the last several years,  complexity of designs have increased and continues to increase.  Verifying a design  is always crucial as  any functional defect in the manufactured chip is going to cost huge money in terms of a new  tape out as well as there is the risk of losing a design win opportunity in market.   My experience shows that  there are always bugs to be found in less time in every  project.  Hence new methodologies, processes and innovations are always important and will continue to be.  It is not true that  innovation is limited in EDA tools.  EDA tools facilitates a lot of usage models, but really those usage models are defined and applied by Verification engineers and architects.
2)  To be a successful ASIC verification engineer and to gain mastery  is not easy and the job involves much more than just running a test.  A good ASIC verification engineer  needs to be good at software programming skills and concepts( for modelling test benches and stimulus)  and also equally good in  hardware and logic design concepts (to understand the internal design micro architecture )  and also should have good critical thinking skills which helps in thinking all aspects of design and finding all the defects efficiently.
3) And in today’s world of SOC designs, the scope of an ASIC verification engineer has increased from mere  functional simulations to  Formal Verification, FPGA/prototype emulation,  HW/SW Co Verification, Performance Verification and many more and there  are  career opportunities in each of these areas where you can go deep and build your expertise and become valuable for a company.
4) With all that said , you can build a career starting from a beginner level Verification engineer  to an expert Verification engineer  who will be respected and can influence and contribute towards a company’s goal – all the way from product definitions , design architecture, SW development and even customer deployment and interactions – and I have personally seen some great people like that through my career.
  There can be different designations  through this career path and can be different in different companies, but that should be of less importance.
Hope this helps and reach out if there are any specific questions or comments !

What is the career path for an ASIC verification engineer?

What is the career path for an ASIC verification engineer?
  • Yogananda Kh

    Hi sir,
    Nice Words in the post.

    If a student (like me)trying to get a job in Digital Vlsi field, What all he needs to be know, and learn, hmm, let the student has a degree only, he dont know much about skills needed by company, and he needs to work in Vlsi companies.
    What would be the path of learning to him/her from scratch? I mean what all basics to intermediate, he needs to learn and know it, like programming languages, concepts, and add-ons,
    would you suggest him/her, to take a course offering in any institute by paying huge-demanded money.

    Thanking you