Hardware tests optimization by machine learning

OData support
Dr. Hosszú Gábor
Department of Electron Devices

The purpose of this paper is to search for and try out new verification techniques that can be used to keep up with the ever-growing complexity of recent hardware architectures.

In this context I introduce the UVM verification methodology based on the SystemVerilog language and its feature of coverage driven constrained-random tests.I also build a verification environment made out of UVM components around the to be verified design.

This verification methodology has 3 basic pillars that I focus on:

- Constrained random stimulus: Random nature of stimulus allows testing a wide spectrum of functionality of the DUT.

- Correctness: The behaviour of the DUT induced by the tests should be checked. This is done by built in automatic checkers as well as protocol checkers where a communication protocol is implemented between elements.

- Completeness: Testing can only be complete when all the defined coverage requirements are met by the tests.

For further improvement I research and show the basics of machine learning. Using reinforcement learning I managed to optimize the constrains used by the random constrain tests with goal of maximizing the functional coverage. After plotting the results of the algorithm I point out the advantages and disadvantages of the program and the verification environment.


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