On the Semantics of Communicating Hardware Processes and their Translation into LOTOS for the Verification of Asynchronous Circuits with CADP

Hubert Garavel, Gwen Salaün, and Wendelin Serwe

Science of Computer Programming, 74(3) 100-127, January 2009.


Hardware process calculi, such as CHP (Communicating Hardware Processes), BALSA, or HASTE (formerly TANGRAM), are a natural approach for the description of asynchronous hardware architectures. These calculi are extensions of standard process calculi with particular synchronisation features implemented using handshake protocols. In this article, we first give a structural operational semantics for value-passing CHP. Compared to the existing semantics of CHP defined by translation into Petri nets, our semantics is general enough to handle value-passing CHP with communication channels open to the environment, and is also independent of any particular (2- or 4-phase) handshake protocol used for circuit implementation. We then describe the translation of CHP into the process calculus LOTOS (ISO standard 8807), in order to allow asynchronous hardware architectures expressed in CHP to be verified using the CADP verification toolbox for LOTOS. A translator from CHP to LOTOS has been implemented and successfully used for the compositional verification of two industrial case studies, namely an asynchronous implementation of the DES (Data Encryption Standard) and an asynchronous interconnect of a NoC (Network on Chip).

35 pages