The SECD Microprocessor

A Verification Case Study

  • Brian T. Graham

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Brian T. Graham
    Pages 1-7
  3. Brian T. Graham
    Pages 9-32
  4. Brian T. Graham
    Pages 33-55
  5. Brian T. Graham
    Pages 57-99
  6. Brian T. Graham
    Pages 101-156
  7. Brian T. Graham
    Pages 157-167
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 169-176

About this book


This is a milestone in machine-assisted microprocessor verification. Gordon [20] and Hunt [32] led the way with their verifications of sim­ ple designs, Cohn [12, 13] followed this with the verification of parts of the VIPER microprocessor. This work illustrates how much these, and other, pioneers achieved in developing tractable models, scalable tools, and a robust methodology. A condensed review of previous re­ search, emphasising the behavioural model underlying this style of verification is followed by a careful, and remarkably readable, ac­ count of the SECD architecture, its formalisation, and a report on the organisation and execution of the automated correctness proof in HOL. This monograph reports on Graham's MSc project, demonstrat­ ing that - in the right hands - the tools and methodology for formal verification can (and therefore should?) now be applied by someone with little previous expertise in formal methods, to verify a non-trivial microprocessor in a limited timescale. This is not to belittle Graham's achievement; the production of this proof, work­ ing as Graham did from the previous literature, goes well beyond a typical MSc project. The achievement is that, with this exposition to hand, an engineer tackling the verification of similar microprocessor designs will have a clear view of the milestones that must be passed on the way, and of the methods to be applied to achieve them.


Hardware architecture complexity formal method formal methods formal specification layout learning microprocessor organization programming verification

Authors and affiliations

  • Brian T. Graham
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CalgaryCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4613-6589-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4615-3576-8
  • Series Print ISSN 0893-3405
  • Buy this book on publisher's site