Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Bringing Source-Level Debugging Frameworks to Hardware Generators

Main content start

Speaker: Keyi Zhang, PhD Student, Stanford University
Date: December 9, 2021

High-level hardware generators have significantly increased the productivity of design engineers. They use software engineering constructs to reduce the repetition required to express complex designs and enable more composability. However, these benefits are undermined by a lack of debugging infrastructure, requiring hardware designers to debug generated, usually incomprehensible, RTL code. In this talk, I will present a framework called hgdb that connects modern software source-level debugging frameworks to RTL created from hardware generators. It offers an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) experience for hardware generators, allowing designers to set breakpoints in complex source code, relate RTL simulation state back to source-level variables, and do forward and backward debugging, with almost no simulation overhead. I will also showcase the debugging experience with RocketChip using the new system.


Bringing Source-Level Debugging Frameworks to Hardware Generators (Keyi Zhang, Stanford University)