Ulf Rask; Pontus Mannestig MSE-2002-27, pp. 16. Inst. för programvaruteknik och datavetenskap/Dept. of Software Engineering and Computer Science, 2002.
In the ever-increasing development pace, circuits and hardware are no exception. Hardware designs grow and circuits gets more complex at the same time as the market pressure lowers the expected time-to-market. In this rush, verification methods often lag behind. Hardware manufacturers must be aware of the importance of total verification if they want to avoid quality flaws and broken deadlines which in the long run will lead to delayed time-to-market, bad publicity and a decreasing market share.
This paper discusses how a basic testing team may use an automated test environment in order to establish intellectual control regarding the testing and verification in a large hardware project. Company-specific factors that influence the design of an automated test environment are analyzed and a suggestion of a suitable environment is made. A prototype of the environment is constructed so that the project results may be evaluated in the real world.
The thesis support the academic field in stating that large chips are hard to verify and that script-automation tools are one way to make verification of larger chips possible. Hardware verification should be made without complicated and untested software so that the debugging process only has the hardware to deal with. The thesis also indicates that an automated test tool increases the test rate, provides better test coverage and make regression testing feasible.