IOTA Computing had developed a low-cost low-power microprocessor for use in 'Internet of Things' applications. They sought our assistance in verifying their design. Our challenge was to come up with a sufficiently thorough set of test cases to prove that their design functioned correctly under all circumstances.
Argon Design proposed the use of directed random instruction testing. To implement this, we wrote a simulator of the processor and its instruction set in C. We also developed a system for producing randomly generated valid code sequences, which could be submitted to the C simulation and the Verilog simulation of the processor. Furthermore, we developed metrics and reporting systems that allowed us to prove thoroughness of coverage.
The directed random instruction testing found several issues that had not been found by conventional testing and verification techniques. We were able to isolate these issues and propose solutions to IOTA Computing.
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