Provably Correct Development of Reconfigurable Hardware Designs via Equational Reasoning

Ian Graves, Adam Procter, William L. Harrison, and Gerard Allwein. 2015 International Conference on Field-Programmable Technology (FPT 2015).

Abstract. There is a semantic gap between the hardware definition languages used to design and implement hardware and the languages and logics used to formally specify and verify them. Bridging this gap—i.e., constructing formal models from existing hardware artifacts—can be costly, time-consuming, and error prone—and yet utterly necessary if formal verification is to proceed. This work demonstrates that this gap can be collapsed by starting in a pure functional language that is also a hardware description language, and that equational style verifications may be performed directly on the source text of a hardware design, thereby significantly lowering the verification cost for reconfigurable designs. When combined with an efficient compiler, this methodology achieves both good performance and low cost verification.