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Learning Semantic Representations to Verify Hardware Designs

Shobha Vasudevan
Rishabh Singh
Hamid Shojaei
Richard Ho
Thirty-fifth Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) (2021)
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We introduce Design2Vec, a representation learning approach to learn semantic abstractions of hardware designs at the Register Transfer Level (RTL). The key idea of our approach is to design a graph convolution based neural architecture that embeds RTL syntax and semantics. We train the architecture on the task of predicting coverage in the design, given some input test stimulus. We then present an approach to use the learnt RTL representation to automatically generate new tests for unseen coverage locations in the design. Our experimental results demonstrate that Design2Vec outperforms several baseline approaches that do not incorporate the RTL semantics and it can be used to generate instantaneous coverage predictions compared to nightly simulation times. Moreover, the tests generated using Design2Vec result in coverage of design points that are difficult to cover for design verification experts using the current manual approaches for test generation.

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