IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems

HSS—A High-Speed Simulator

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The High-Speed Simulator (HSS) is a fast and flexible system for gate-level fault simulation. Originally limited to combinational logic, it is being extended to handle sequential logic. It may also prove useful as a functional simulator. The speed of HSS is obtained by converting the cycle-free portions of a circuit into optimized machine code for a general-purpose computer. This compiled code simulates the circuit's response for 16 or 32 test patterns in parallel. Faults are injected into the circuit by changing the machine instruction corresponding to the fault location. From the range of speeds seen in recent measurements, we take 240 million gates per second as a fair general estimate of the speed of 2-valued simulation running on a 3081/K computer. For 3-valued simulation, divide by 2.9. The paper discusses the merits and drawbacks of the HSS strategy. It also sketches the extensions of HSS to model sequential logic and the various applications of HSS. These include functional verification, design for testability, good machine signatures, and accurate simulation of transistor-level defects in certain CMOS technologies. Finally, there is some discussion of how the simulation requirements of future designs can be met, and of the lessons to be drawn from long-term experimentation with HSS. Copyright © 1987 by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.