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Software-based self-testing (SBST) of microprocessors and processor-based testing of systems-on-chip (SoCs) recently captured intense test technology research efforts because they provide an effective alternative or supplement to other classic testing and self-testing approaches. Despite the importance of peripheral cores in SoCs (in terms of functionality and size), the applicability and limits of SBST on them have not been comprehensively studied. In this paper, we study the effectiveness of SBST on a broad class of communication peripheral cores in SoCs. A systematic application of SBST on two popular peripherals (universal asynchronous receiver transmitter and Ethernet) demonstrates the effectiveness of SBST on SoCs with such cores.