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Validation and verification of the interconnection of hardware intellectual property blocks for FPGA-based packet processing systems

McKechnie, Paul Edward (2010) Validation and verification of the interconnection of hardware intellectual property blocks for FPGA-based packet processing systems. EngD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

As networks become more versatile, the computational requirement for supporting additional functionality increases. The increasing demands of these networks can be met by Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA), which are an increasingly popular technology for implementing packet processing systems. The fine-grained parallelism and density of these devices can be exploited to meet the computational requirements and implement complex systems on a single chip. However, the increasing complexity of FPGA-based systems makes them susceptible to errors and difficult to test and debug. To tackle the complexity of modern designs, system-level languages have been developed to provide abstractions suited to the domain of the target system. Unfortunately, the lack of formality in these languages can give rise to errors that are not caught until late in the design cycle. This thesis presents three techniques for verifying and validating FPGA-based packet processing systems described in a system-level description language. First, a type system is applied to the system description language to detect errors before implementation. Second, system-level transaction monitoring is used to observe high-level events on-chip following implementation. Third, the high-level information embodied in the system description language is exploited to allow the system to be automatically instrumented for on-chip monitoring. This thesis demonstrates that these techniques catch errors which are undetected by traditional verification and validation tools. The locations of faults are specified and errors are caught earlier in the design flow, which saves time by reducing synthesis iterations.

Item Type: Thesis (EngD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: validation, verification, FPGA, packet processing
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Vanderbauwhede, Dr. Wim
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Dr Paul E McKechnie
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1879
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:47
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1879

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