Средства функциональной верификации микропроцессоров
Ensuring the correctness of microprocessors and other microelectronic equipment is a fundamental problem. To deal with it, various tools for functional verification are used. Unlike bugs in software programs which are relatively easy to fix (it does not apply to their consequences), defects in integrated circuits (both design and manufacturing ones) cannot be removed. In spite of continuous development of computer-aided design (CAD) systems, test generation tools and approaches to analysis of circuits, verification remains the bottleneck of the microprocessor design cycle (it accounts for approximately 70 percent of total design resources). The article gives a brief overview of microprocessor verification tools, describes issues that commonly occur in industrial practice and analyzes possible ways to solve them. The main part of the article is dedicated to research in the field of unit- and system-level hardware verification conducted at ISPRAS. It describes such approaches as contract specification of pipeline, event-driven hardware specification, parallel/distributed testing, combinatorial test program generation and template-based test program generation. The article also summarizes the outcomes of accomplished projects, describes the present works and formulates the directions of further research.