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Article

Language for Describing Templates for Test Program Generation for Microprocessors

Test program generation and simulation is the most widely used approach to functional verification of microprocessors. High complexity of modern hardware designs creates a demand for automated tools that are able to generate test programs covering non-trivial situations in microprocessor functioning. The majority of such tools use test program templates that describe scenarios to be covered in an abstract way. This provides verification engineers with a flexible way to describe a wide range of test generation tasks with minimum effort. Test program templates are developed in special domain-specific languages. These languages must fulfill the following requirements: (1) be simple enough to be used by verification engineers with no sufficient programming skills; (2) be applicable to various microprocessor architectures and (3) be easy to extend with facilities for describing new types of test generation tasks. The present work discusses the test program template description language used in the reconfigurable and extensible test program generation framework MicroTESK being developed at ISP RAS. It is a flexible Ruby-based domain-specific language that allows describing a wide range of test generation tasks in terms of hardware abstractions. The tool and the language have been applied in industrial projects dedicated to verification of MIPS and ARM microprocessors.