Trace-based automated logical debugging for high-level synthesis generated circuits

Pietro Fezzardi, Michele Castellana, Fabrizio Ferrandi
2015 2015 33rd IEEE International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD)  
In this paper we present an approach for debugging hardware designs generated by High-Level Synthesis (HLS), relieving users from the burden of identifying the signals to trace and from the error-prone task of manually checking the traces. The necessary steps are performed after HLS, independently of it and without affecting the synthesized design. For this reason our methodology should be easily adaptable to any HLS tools. The proposed approach makes full use of HLS compile time informations.
more » ... he executions of the simulated design and the original C program can be compared, checking if there are discrepancies between values of C variables and signals in the design. The detection is completely automated, that is, it does not need any input but the program itself and the user does not have to know anything about the overall compilation process. The design can be validated on a given set of test cases and the discrepancies are detected by the tool. Relationships between the original high-level source code and the generated HDL are kept by the compiler and shown to the user. The granularity of such discrepancy analysis is per-operation and it includes the temporary variables inserted by the compiler. As a consequence the design can be debugged as is, with no restrictions on optimizations available during HLS. We show how this methodology can be used to identify different kind of bugs: 1) introduced by the HLS tool used for the synthesis; 2) introduced using buggy libraries of hardware components for HLS; 3) undefined behavior bugs in the original high-level source code.
doi:10.1109/iccd.2015.7357111 dblp:conf/iccd/FezzardiCF15 fatcat:qkht45fdovgtbmxtgnozps3omq