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Hardware Simulation Test Effectiveness Measurement Via Functional Path Analysis

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000062070D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 3 page(s) / 34K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

McLaren, RW: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a method that provides an accurate assessment of the function simulated within the software model of a digital logic hardware design. The concept of a functional path is the key element in the method, which is based on path analysis. A functional path is defined as a unique sequence of logical events that cause a change in the state of the model being analyzed. Path analysis involves the definition of all of the possible path permutations that can exist in this model. The essential elements of this are: 1. A technique to define all functions as a collection of unique paths. 2. A methodology whereby simulation exercise can be verified via analysis of a cyclic results trace. The unique features contained within this invention are: 1.

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Hardware Simulation Test Effectiveness Measurement Via Functional Path Analysis

This article describes a method that provides an accurate assessment of the function simulated within the software model of a digital logic hardware design. The concept of a functional path is the key element in the method, which is based on path analysis. A functional path is defined as a unique sequence of logical events that cause a change in the state of the model being analyzed. Path analysis involves the definition of all of the possible path permutations that can exist in this model. The essential elements of this are: 1. A technique to define all functions as a collection of unique paths. 2. A methodology whereby simulation exercise can be verified via analysis of a cyclic results trace. The unique features contained within this invention are: 1. Creation of a functional path in which all activity is defined by a specific sequence of unique locations within the software model, as described in supporting documentation or identified in storage locations. With reference to the figure, which depicts a portion of a software model of a hardware design, the functional path definitions are:

(Image Omitted)

2. Definition of a path as a sequence of yes and/or no states in which the intervening resultant actions are disregarded after the path is formulated. In effect, the path definition becomes a series of branch analysis states. With reference to the figure, the path definitions are:

(Image Omitted)

3. Capability to analyze a cyclic simulation events trace by inspecting, on a cycle by cycle basis, current branch analysis states and combining these branches to determine the paths that have been exercised during the cycle. The current methodology for providing simulation test results is generally based on a form of branch analysis in which a yes and/or no leg at a decision point is monitored for evidence of being exercised by the test case(s). The analysis results in a measurement value that indicates the total number of decision points exercised in the test. Although such branch statistics are readily available, they are inherently misleading due to t...