Formal Verification of Complex Data Paths: An Industrial Experience
Paper i proceeding, 2021

After caches, most transistors in a modern microprocessor are devoted to wide data-paths. Due to performance and power requirements, these data-paths often use complex implementations of sophisticated algorithms. As Intel experienced in 1994, a bug in a data-path can be extremely expensive and thus needs to be avoided at almost any cost. At the same time, simulation based verification is extremely poor at verifying data-paths due to the vast data space and thus formal verification is almost a requirement. In this paper a retrospective is given of the formal verification of complex data-paths that took place at Intel from the mid 1990 s until very recently. The technology that made the effort possible, the tools developed that made it feasible, and the methodology created that made it practical will all be discussed. Finally, a few examples that illustrates the approach will be presented as well as a concluding discussion on what the goal of using formal verification should be.

Circuit visualization

Symbolic trajectory evaluation

Functional languages

Model checking

Formal verification


Carl-Johan Seger

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Funktionell programmering

Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)

03029743 (ISSN) 16113349 (eISSN)

Vol. 13047 LNCS 697-716
9783030908690 (ISBN)

24th International Symposium on Formal Methods, FM 2021
Virtual, Online, ,

Octopi: Säker Programering för Sakernas Internet

Stiftelsen för Strategisk forskning (SSF) (RIT17-0023), 2018-03-01 -- 2023-02-28.


Annan data- och informationsvetenskap

Datavetenskap (datalogi)




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