Formal equivalence checking process is a part of electronic design automation (EDA), commonly used during the development of digital integrated circuits, to formally prove that two representations of a circuit design exhibit exactly the same behavior.In general, there is a wide range of possible definitions of functional equivalence covering comparisons between different levels of abstraction and varying granularity of timing details.
The most common approach is to consider the problem of machine equivalence which defines two synchronous design specifications functionally equivalent if, clock by clock, they produce exactly the same sequence of output signals for any valid sequence of input signals.
Microprocessor designers use equivalence checking to compare the functions specified for the instruction set architecture (ISA) with a register transfer level (RTL) implementation, ensuring that any program executed on both models will cause an identical update of the main memory content. This is a more general problem.
A system design flow requires comparison between a transaction level model (TLM), e.g., written in SystemC and its corresponding RTL specification. Such a check is becoming of increasing interest in a system- on-a-chip (SoC) design environment.