Microelectronics Engineering Group

Microelectronics Engineering Group

Electronics Technology, Systems and Automation Engineering Department University of Cantabria
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Title:Pre-silicon FEC decoding verification on SoC FPGAs
Type:International Paper
Where:IEEE Communications Letters
Authors: Víctor Fernández
Carlos Abad
Angel Alvarez
Iñigo Ugarte
Pablo Pedro Sánchez
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Abstract:Abstract: Forward error correction (FEC) decoding hardware modules are challenging to verify at pre-silicon stage, when they are usually described at register-transfer (RT)/logic level with a hardware description language (HDL). They tend to hide faults due to their inherent tendency to correct errors and the required simulations with a massive insertion of inputs are too slow. In this work, two verification techniques based on FPGA-prototyping are applied in order to complement the mentioned simulations: golden model vs implementation matching with thousands of random codewords and codeword/bit error rate (CER/BER) curve computation. For this purpose, a system on chip (SoC) field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is used, implementing in the programmable hardware part several replicas of the decoder (exploiting the parallel capabilities of hardware) and managing the verification by parallel programming the software part of the SoC (exploiting the presence of multiple processing cores). The presented approach allows a seamless integration with high-level models, does not need expensive testing/emulation platforms and obtains the results in a reasonable amount of time.
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