Software/Hardware Co-Verification for Custom Instruction Set Processors

Marie-Christine Jakobs, Felix Pauck, Marco Platzner, Heike Wehrheim, Tobias Wiersema
2021 IEEE Access  
Verification of software and processor hardware usually proceeds separately, software analysis relying on the correctness of processors executing machine instructions. This assumption is valid as long as the software runs on standard CPUs that have been extensively validated and are in wide use. However, for processors exploiting custom instruction set extensions to meet performance and energy constraints the validation might be less extensive, challenging the correctness assumption. In this
more » ... er we present a novel formal approach for hardware/software co-verification targeting processors with custom instruction set extensions. We detail two different approaches for checking whether the hardware fulfills the requirements expected by the software analysis. The approaches are designed to explore a tradeoff between generality of the verification and computational effort. Then, we describe the integration of software and hardware analyses for both techniques and describe a fully automated tool chain implementing the approaches. Finally, we demonstrate and compare the two approaches on example source code with custom instructions, using state-of-the-art software analysis and hardware verification techniques.
doi:10.1109/access.2021.3131213 fatcat:mcnoifxzxvg6fph4gg5adjzp3e