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Technical intro to functional qualification, Part 2

Posted: 08 Apr 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:functional qualification  artificial bugs  mutation analysis 

Part 1 of this three-part series discusses the overview of functional qualification and the importance of this technique.

This section discusses correlating artificial bugs with design bugs. Functional qualification is derived from the theory of mutation analysis. In mutation analysis, a set of small changes (called faults or mutations) are identified for a given software program. Each mutation is introduced independently into the program, and the verification environment is executed to see if it can be propagated to the outputs of the program.

The "artificial bugs" inserted into the design are like the faults in mutation analysis. However, functional qualification is different from mutation analysis in several ways.

The fault models (or types of artificial bugs) used in functional qualification are very similar to the ones used in mutation analysis. For the purposes of functional qualification, the HDL design is considered to be similar to a software program. The faults are syntactically correct, small functional changes to the design behaviour. They are typically based on the simplest errors that could be introduced when writing code.

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