Verifying Instruction Set Simulators using Coverage-guided Fuzzing

Vladimir Herdt, Daniel Große, Hoang M. Le, Rolf Drechsler

In: Design, Automation and Test in Europe (DATE). Design, Automation & Test in Europe (DATE-2019) March 25-29 Florence Italy 2019.


Verification of Instruction Set Simulators (ISSs) is crucial. Predominantly simulation-based approaches are used. They require a comprehensive testset to ensure a thorough verification. We propose a novel coverage-guided fuzzing (CGF) approach to improve the testcase generation process. In addition to code coverage we integrate functional coverage and a custom mutation procedure tailored for ISS verification. As a case-study we apply our approach on a set of three publicly available RISC-V ISSs. We found several new errors, including one error in the official RISC-V reference simulator Spike.


Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence