A-QED verification of hardware accelerators

Eshan Singh, Florian Lonsing, Saranyu Chattopadhyay, Maxwell Strange, Peng Wei, Xiaofan Zhang, Yuan Zhou, Deming Chen, Jason Cong, Priyanka Raina, Zhiru Zhang, Clark Barrett, Subhasish Mitra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present A-QED (Accelerator-Quick Error Detection), a new approach for pre-silicon formal verification of stand-alone hardware accelerators. A-QED relies on bounded model checking - however, it does not require extensive design-specific properties or a full formal design specification. While A- QED is effective for both RTL and high-level synthesis (HLS) design flows, it integrates seamlessly with HLS flows. Our A-QED results on several hardware accelerator designs demonstrate its practicality and effectiveness: 1. A-QED detected all bugs detected by conventional verification flow. 2. A-QED detected bugs that escaped conventional verification flow. 3. A-QED improved verification productivity dramatically, by 30X, in one of our case studies (1 person-day using A-QED vs. 30 person-days using conventional verification flow). 4. A-QED produced short counterexamples for easy debug (37X shorter on average vs. conventional verification flow).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 57th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference, DAC 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367257
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Event57th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference, DAC 2020 - Virtual, San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jul 20 2020Jul 24 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - Design Automation Conference
ISSN (Print)0738-100X


Conference57th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference, DAC 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, San Francisco


  • Accelerators
  • Bounded Model Checking
  • Formal verification
  • Pre-silicon verification
  • QED
  • Quick Error Detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation

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