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Change Management for Hardware Designers

Martin Ring; Christoph Lüth; Rolf Drechsler; Jannis Ulrich Stoppe
In: 3rd Workshop on Design Automation for Understanding Hardware Designs (DUHDe 2016). Workshop on Design Automation for Understanding Hardware Designs (DUHDe-16), March 18, Dresden, Germany, 3/2016.


To cope with rising hardware complexity, design processes are increasingly moved to more abstract description languages. Different descriptions impede the design process because they are usually disconnected. Therefore, adding more layers to the design process adds additional overhead to e.g. ensure that changes that are applied on the system level description are either done in accordance with other less or more abstract descriptions or that these changes are propagated accordingly. Managing these changes has so far been a manual task. This paper presents the Change Impact Analysis and Control Tool (ChimpanC), a tool that uses state of the art analysis methods on various abstraction levels to build a single, interconnected model of these descriptions. These are used to track and manage any changes on each level of abstraction and their various refinement steps to ensure consistency throughout the development process. The result is a tool that assists the developer by highlighting inconsistencies and required proof obligations across various descriptions in order to simplify the development process over various abstraction levels.