Efficient Hardware Debugging Using Parameterized FPGA Reconfiguration

Alexandra Kourfali, Dirk Stroobandt
2016 2016 IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops (IPDPSW)  
Functional errors and bugs inadvertently introduced at the RTL stage of the design process are responsible for the largest fraction of silicon IC re-spins. Thus, comprehensive functional verification is the key to reduce development costs and to deliver a product in time. The increasing demands for verification led to an increase in FPGA-based tools that perform emulation. These tools can run at much higher operating frequencies and achieve higher coverage than simulation. However, an important
more » ... pitfall of the FPGA tools is that they suffer from limited internal signal observability, as only a small and preselected set of signals is guided towards (embedded) trace buffers and observed. This paper proposes a dynamically reconfigurable network of multiplexers that significantly enhance the visibility of internal signals. It allows the designer to dynamically change the small set of internal signals to be observed, virtually enlarging the set of observed signals significantly. These multiplexers occupy minimal space, as they are implemented by the FPGA's routing infrastructure. IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops /16 $31.00
doi:10.1109/ipdpsw.2016.95 dblp:conf/ipps/KourfaliS16 fatcat:zwf5mbw7u5ejtif4b27bu4kptq