FPGA Equivalence Checking for a Nuclear Safety Controller

By Rob van Blommestein, Head of Marketing at OneSpin


Every chip development team wants to find and fix all the bugs they possibly can in pre-silicon verification. Turning a chip to fix issues found in the bring-up lab incurs high costs and product delays; bugs found in the field are even more expensive to repair. But for some applications, including military/aerospace, implanted medical devices, and autonomous vehicles, the consequences of a faulty chip can be deadly. Electronic systems for nuclear power plants are another clear example of designs with extremely high standards for verification. At OneSpin’s inaugural Osmosis users’ group meeting in Munich, one of our expert users presented a riveting talk on formal equivalence checking for FPGA designs used in nuclear applications.


Jürgen Dennerlein is a product development, I&C hardware development expert and platform architect at Framatome GmbH. He began his talk by introducing Framatome, a 60-year-old company that has provided the equipment for 92 nuclear power plants around the world. They design plants, provide steam supply systems, design and manufacture components and fuel assembles, integrate automation systems, and service all types of nuclear reactors. Jürgen works specifically on instrumentation and control (I&C) for nuclear steam supply systems. He proudly reported that Framatome has installed 82 safety I&C systems in 44 nuclear power plants in 17 countries spanning Europe, Asia, South America, and North America.