Equivalence Checking of a Floating-Point Unit Against a High-Level C Model


Semiconductor companies have increasingly adopted a methodology that starts with a system-level design specification in C/C++/SystemC. This model is extensively simulated to ensure correct functionality and performance. Later, a Register Transfer Level (RTL) implementation is created in Verilog, either manually by a designer or automatically by a high-level synthesis tool. It is essential to check that the C and Verilog programs are consistent. In this paper, we present a two-step approach, embodied in two equivalence checking tools, VERIFOX and HW-CBMC, to validate designs at the software and RTL levels, respectively. VERIFOX is used for equivalence checking of an untimed software model in C against a high-level reference model in C. HW-CBMC verifies the equivalence of a Verilog RTL implementation against an untimed software model in C. To evaluate our tools, we applied them to a commercial floating-point arithmetic unit (FPU) from ARM and an open-source dual-path floating-point adder.

International Symposium on Formal Methods
Saurabh Joshi
Saurabh Joshi
Principal Researcher

My research interests include Constraint Programming, Formal Verification and Program Analysis.