Proceedings of ISP RAS

An Approach to Direct Memory Access Module Verification

V. Kutsevol (MCST, Moscow), A. Meshkov (MCST, Moscow), M. Ryzhov (MCST, Moscow), P. Frolov (MCST, Moscow)


A method of direct memory access subsystem verification used for “Elbrus” series microprocessors has been described. A peripheral controller imitator has been developed in order to provide a flexible way to simulate a wide range of workloads of the direct memory access system without a need for computational overhead caused by simulation of the initialization and operation of the southbridge and its controllers. The imitator has been implemented as synthesizable Verilog module used in verification both with the RTL model and with the FPGA prototype. It can be integrated as a replacement of the I/O link connecting the integrated northbridge with the southbridge thus eliminating the need to simulate extra hardware.  This connection method allowed to use a single implementation of the imitator with a complete series of microprocessors compatible with respect to the I/O link interface. The model of the imitator was also included into the functional machine simulator. A pseudorandom test generator for verification of the direct memory access subsystem based on the simulator. The test generator has been developed using library version of the functional machine simulator that allowed to use the simulator as a reference model during the test generation. The consistency of the programming interface of the imitator provides ability to execute generated tests unmodified on the functional machine simulator, the RTL model, the FPGA prototype and even the fabricated microprocessors when integrated in the FPGA I/O link controller. Employment of this method allowed to find a significant number of bugs in “Elbrus” series microprocessors being developed.


system verification, functional model, direct memory access, pseudorandom test generation


Proceedings of the Institute for System Programming, vol. 27, issue 3, 2015, pp. 139-148.

ISSN 2220-6426 (Online), ISSN 2079-8156 (Print).

DOI: 10.15514/ISPRAS-2015-27(3)-10

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