Romanian Journal of Information Science and Technology (ROMJIST)

An open – access publication


ROMJIST is a publication of Romanian Academy,
Section for Information Science and Technology

Editor – in – Chief:

Academician Dan Dascalu

Secretariate (office):
Adriana Apostol
Adress for correspondence: (after 1st of January, 2019)

Editing of the printed version: Mihaela Marian (Publishing House of the Romanian Academy, Bucharest)

Technical editor
of the on-line version:
Lucian Milea (University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest)

• National Institute for R & D
in Microtechnologies
(IMT Bucharest),
• Association for Generic
and Industrial Technologies (ASTEGI),

ROMJIST Volume 24, No. 3, 2021, pp. 299-320, Paper no. 695/2021

Alexandru DINU, Stefan GHEORGHE, Gabriel Mihail DANCIU, Petre Lucian OGRUTAN
Debugging FPGA projects using artificial intelligence

ABSTRACT: Debugging digital designs implemented into FPGA devices is a challenging task. As opposite to simulation, simultaneous access to all input and output signals is not possible. The main obstacles in the debugging process are a limited number of input/output ports of FPGAs and the transfer of information from a digital device to an external data processor. However, debugging a digital design requests analysis of many combinations of inputs and outputs of a module to assess if these are well correlated and if their operation matches device specifications. The current work of the research team consisted of designing an end-to-end flow of data processing that fulfills the aim of debugging digital designs (particularly in this work, FPGA devices are considered). Firstly, a data generator based on majority voting idea was created using RTL languages. After checking its behavior using simulation, it has been downloaded into the FPGA fabric of a Spartan 3E board. The data generated from this reconfigurable device was acquired through the UART protocol, using an FT232R adapter. It was preprocessed to reconstruct the fields of each data sample and to remove transmission errors. The team analyzed the distribution of the obtained values and adjusted the data to achieve a uniform distribution. The team used the data to train both machine learning and deep learning models to create a golden reference model which accurately reflects the main functionality of the DUT: executing the majority vote operation over three pairs of numbers. Finally, the team presented how to use the resulting reference model to debug digital systems.

KEYWORDS: data mining and analysis, FPGA, machine learning, deep learning, reference model, neural network configuration

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