high-level component-based models for functional verificationof systems-on-a-chip

Abstract : The work presented in this thesis deals with modeling, specification and testing of models of Systems-on-a-Chip (SoCs) at the transaction abstraction level and higher. SoCs are heterogeneous: they comprise bothhardware components and processors to execute embedded software, which closely interacts with hardware.SystemC-based Transaction Level Modeling (TLM) has been very successful in providing high-level executablecomponent-based models for SoCs, also called virtual prototypes (VPs). These models can be used early in thedesign flow for the development of the software and the validation of the actual hardware. For SystemC/TLMvirtual prototypes, Assertion-Based Verification (ABV) allows property checking early in the design cycle,helping to find bugs early in the model and to save time and effort that are needed for their fixing. TL modelscan be over-constrained, which means that they do not represent all the behaviors of the hardware, and thus,do not allow detection of some malfunctions of the prototype. Our contributions consist of two orthogonal andcomplementary parts: On the one hand, we identify sources of over-constraints in TL models appearing due tothe order of interactions between components, and propose a notion of loose-ordering which allows to removethese over-constraints. On the other hand, we propose a generalized stubbing mechanism which allows the veryearly simulation with SystemC/TLM virtual prototypes.We propose a set of patterns to capture loose-ordering properties, and define a direct translation of thesepatterns into SystemC monitors. Our generalized stubbing mechanism enables the early simulation with Sys-temC/TLM virtual prototypes, in which some components are not entirely determined on the values of theexchanged data, the order of the interactions and/or the timing. Those components have very abstract speci-fications only, in the form of constraints between inputs and outputs. We show that essential synchronizationproblems between components can be captured using our simulation with stubs. The mechanism is generic;we focus only on key concepts, principles and rules which make the stubbing mechanism implementable andapplicable for real, industrial case studies. Any specification language satisfying our requirements (e.g., loose-orderings) can be used to specify the components, i.e., it can be plugged in the stubbing framework. We providea proof of concept to demonstrate the interest of using the simulation with stubs for very early detection andlocalization of synchronization bugs of the design.
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Yuliia Romenska. high-level component-based models for functional verificationof systems-on-a-chip. Computer science. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017GREAM019⟩. ⟨tel-01681425v2⟩

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