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Automatic verification of implementations of large circuits against HDL specifications

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4 Author(s)
Hoskote, Y.V. ; Intel Dev. Labs., Intel Corp., Portland, OR, USA ; Abraham, J.A. ; Fussell, D.S. ; Moondanos, J.

This paper addresses the problem of verifying the correctness of gate-level implementations of large synchronous sequential circuits with respect to their higher level specifications in a hardware description language (HDL). The verification strategy is to verify containment of the finite state machine (FSM) represented by the HDL description in the gate-level FSM by computing pairs of compatible states. This formulation of the verification problem dissociates the verification process from the specification of initial states, whose encoding may be unknown or obscured during optimization and also enables verification of reset circuitry. To make verification of large circuits with merged data path and control tractable, the concept of strong containment is introduced. This is a conservative approach which exploits correspondence between data path-registers in the two descriptions without requiring any correspondence between the control units. We also present an important result and associated proof that computation of pairs of equivalent or compatible states can be achieved by considering subsets of the circuit outputs. Consequently, verification of circuits with large and diverse input-output sets, which was previously intractable due to lack of a single effective variable order for the binary decision diagrams (BDD's), is now feasible. Experimental results are presented for the verification of several industry level circuits

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 3 )