Towards Automating Simulation-Based Design Verification Using ILP

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Increasing the productivity of simulation-based semiconductor design verification is one of the urgent challenges identified in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors. The most difficult aspect is the generation of stimulus for functional coverage closure. This paper introduces a new Coverage-Directed test Generation (CDG) feedback loop which applies Inductive Logic Programming (ILP) to selected tests and coverage data to induce rules that can be used to automatically direct stimulus generation towards outstanding coverage. The case study documented in this paper shows a significant reduction of simulation time when ILP-based CDG is compared to random test generation. This is an exciting and promising new application area for ILP.