Testing

8 articles

Systematically Exposing OS Kernel Races – An Interview with Ben Blum

Full-system simulators like Simics provide unparalleled insight into what is going on in a target system. Indeed, better insight is one of the main features of simulation that we get regardless of what we simulate and how. In addition, if we want to, we can also exert control over the target system to make it take different execution paths than…

Forcing Rare Bugs to Appear – an Interview with Tingting Yu

One use of Simics that has always been fascinating is to use the power you have over the target to somehow force error conditions in software. The hardware state control inherent in a tool like Simics should be useful to knock a system off of the expected common path and into code less tested, and to reveal bugs that normally…

Integration and Testing the Integration

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a deep report into last year's issue with "unintended acceleration" on certain Toyota cars. They actually employed a team from NASA who analyzed the throttle control software using a wide range of cutting-edge tools. Reading their report gives a good idea for how embedded control software is developed, and the…

Being Helpful or simply Correct?

The other day, I spent some time getting a new operating system up on one of our Simics virtual platforms. The platform is stable, the hardware is shipping and it is being used with the very software I was setting up. However, as the operating system was booting, I got quite a lot of warnings from Simics about incorrect hardware…

Physical or Virtual

When you explain what a virtual platform or full-system simulation solution like Wind River Simics is, a key part is that it runs the same software as a physical board or physical system. This does capture the core of the idea - but it does not mean that the virtual platform is only "just like the real thing". Comparing virtual…

Virtual Trace

I spent most of last week at the S4D conference in Southampton, the UK. A small gathering of people interested in debug, it seems to be a good indicator of trends in debug. The dominant trends this year were clearly tracing and instrumentation. From the perspective of a virtual platform, tracing is a natural task, and it can be done…

Transporting Bugs with Checkpoints

I have a paper about "Transporting Bugs with Checkpoints" to be presented at the S4D (System, Software, SoC and Silicon Debug) conference in Southampton, UK, on September 15 and 16, 2010. The core concept presented is to leverage Wind River Simics checkpointing to capture and move a bug from the bug reporter to the responsible developer. It is a fairly…

True Concurrency is Truly Different (Again)

A recent article at Ars Technica describes yet another security flaw in Windows. Nothing much new in that respect, but this is indeed an interesting attack in that it is enabled by using multicore hardware. It is not practical on a single processor, demonstrating once again how multicore is fundamentally different from multitasking on a single processor. 57