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Verification and Validation of Programmable Logic Devices. James A. Cercone Ph.D., P.E., Chair and Professor of Computer Science WVU-Tech Michael A. Beims Senior Systems Engineer Science Applications International Corporation Kenneth G. McGill

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verification and validation of programmable logic devices
Verification and Validation of Programmable Logic Devices
  • James A. Cercone Ph.D., P.E.,
  • Chair and Professor of Computer Science
  • WVU-Tech
  • Michael A. Beims
  • Senior Systems Engineer
  • Science Applications International Corporation
  • Kenneth G. McGill
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s IV&V Facility

Cercone 1 113/MAPLD 2004

slide2

Abbreviations:

IV&V Independent Verification and Validation

V&V Verification and Validation

PL Programmable Logic

FPGA Field Programmable Gate Array

VHDL VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) Hardware Design Language

Cercone 2 113/MAPLD 2004

pld fpga software
PLD/FPGA Software
  • Designs are tested for
    • Functionality
    • Boundary conditions
    • Operational simulation, electrical criteria
  • Designs are not routinely subjected to
    • Formal Verification and Validation (V&V)
    • Independent Verification and Validation
  • Existing V&V methods adaptable to designs (e.g. Fagan and Gibbs inspections)

Cercone 3 113/MAPLD 2004

pilot project
Pilot Project
  • Utilize a current NASA Space System Project
  • A good candidate has
    • Significant reliance on PL devices for critical spacecraft control.
    • Significant reliance on PL devices for critical science instrument functionality.
    • An ongoing IV&V process with an interface to the Project

Cercone 4 113/MAPLD 2004

relevance to safety and mission assurance
Relevance to Safety and Mission Assurance
  • Design methodologies for PLD/FPGAs widely vary
  • Design teams do not always follow the proven practices of software design
  • Problems observed in design reviews at satellite vendors
  • Late in life cycle hardware changes have been driven by faulty PLD logic

Cercone 5 113/MAPLD 2004

some types of defects
Some types of defects
  • May go undetected during compilation and simulation
  • Reset related:
    • Reset inputs derived from sources external to FPGA
    • Outputs and internal inputs in unknown state during reset
  • Clocking related:
    • Poor clocking strategies
    • Asynchronous designs crossing clocking barriers

Cercone 6 113/MAPLD 2004

types of defects cont
Types of Defects (cont.)
  • Coding practices related:
    • Coding style – mixing of structural and behavioral modeling
    • Unstable and unnecessary code “circuitry” included in design
    • Inappropriate use of commercial core codeware
  • State Machine related:
    • Poor design of state machines (such as unintentional race and dynamic hazards)
    • Incorporation of “One Hot” design Finite State Machine Designs that have excess unused states
  • Transient related:
    • Susceptibility to single event effects
    • Startup transients created by unused (programmed) input/output pin connections

Cercone 7 113/MAPLD 2004

methods and procedures
Methods and Procedures
  • Collection of existing PLD/FPGA fault data from NASA users
  • On site visits and direct contact with NASA PLD/FPGA designers
  • Investigate V&V methodologies that may be adapted
    • Inspections:
      • Fagan and Gibbs
      • Other Software Code analysis methods
    • Consideration of compiler specific variations
      • Attributes not apparent during simulation (e.g. the number of flip-flops used for finite state machines.)

Cercone 8 113/MAPLD 2004

technology transfer
Technology Transfer
  • Appears to be a critical need for an upcoming space telescope
    • Large number of FPGA’s for domain specific optimized data compression
    • High complexity logic
    • Numerous design iterations
    • Size of the logic may need a larger die late in the life cycle of the instrument
  • Results applicable to other developers
    • A spacecraft related to this telescope experienced an FPGA design defect that required a hardware change late in the life cycle
  • Results can be applied to future missions

Cercone 9 113/MAPLD 2004

success criteria
Success Criteria
  • a) Identify PLD/FPGA design logic faults.
  • b) Identify applicable existing methodologies by tracing design defects to their common cause.
  • c) Suggest enhancements to the design phase, peer and design reviews.
  • d) Provide field prototyped training materials for PL software V&V.
  • e) Successfully complete a pilot project.

Cercone 10 113/MAPLD 2004

uniqueness of research
Uniqueness of Research
  • FPGA “software” is not currently required to undergo V&V evaluation according to:
    • Previous studies and standards such as the FAA – DO-254
    • Some European based studies
  • No specific / current guideline for PLD/FPGA IV&V
    • Methodology has not evolved much beyond the classical sequential development methodology of: specify requirements, create the design, code, simulate and test.

Cercone 11 113/MAPLD 2004

research team
Research Team
  • James A. Cercone Ph.D., P.E.,
  • Chair and Professor of Computer Science
  • WVU-Tech
  • Michael A. Beims
  • Senior Systems Engineer
  • Science Applications International Corporation
  • William Clark
  • Associate Professor of Computer Science
  • WVU-Tech
  • Sidney Valentine
  • Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Technology
  • WVU-Tech

Cercone 12 113/MAPLD 2004