A Unified Model for Gate Level Propagation Analysis

Jeremy Blackstone, Wei Hu, Alric Althoff, Armaiti Ardeshiricham, Lu Zhang, Ryan Kastner

Classic hardware verification techniques (e.g., X-propagation and fault-propagation) and more recent hardware security verification techniques based on information flow tracking (IFT) aim to understand how information passes, affects, and otherwise modifies a circuit. These techniques all have separate usage scenarios, but when dissected into their core functionality, they relate in a fundamental manner. In this paper, we develop a common framework for gate level propagation analysis. We use our model to generate synthesizable propagation logic to use in standard EDA tools. To justify our model, we prove that Precise Hardware IFT is equivalent to gate level X-propagation and imprecise fault propagation. We also show that the difference between Precise Hardware IFT and fault propagation is not significant for 74X-series and '85 ISCAS benchmarks with more than 313 gates and the difference between imprecise hardware IFT and Precise Hardware IFT is almost always significant regardless of size.

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