For designs that incorporate or interface to an embedded central processing unit (CPU), processor-driven tests (PDTs) can be a valuable addition to the functional verification test suite. Simply stated, PDTs are test vectors driven into the design by a full functional model of the processor. This article describes how PDTs can boost functional verification coverage with less incremental effort than enhancing existing hardware description language (HDL) testbenches. There are obstacles to adopting PDTs, however, for which a solution is introduced: a homogenous debug environment for both HDL and processor-driven tests.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 6, No. 2, 2007