Simulator Independent Coverage for RTL Hardware Languages - ASPLOS 2023

We demonstrate a new approach to implementing automated coverage metrics including line, toggle, and finite state machine coverage. Each metric is implemented through a compiler pass with a report generator. They are decoupled from the backend simulation, emulation, or formal verification tool through a simple API designed around a single new cover primitive. Our prototype for the Chisel hardware construction language demonstrates support across three software simulators, the FPGA-accelerated FireSim simulator and a formal tool. We demonstrate collecting line coverage while booting Linux with FireSim at a target frequency of 65 MHz. By construction, coverage can be trivially merged across backends.