Improved Device Driver Reliability Through Hardware Verification Reuse

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Executive Summary

Faulty device drivers are a major source of operating system failures. The authors argue that the underlying cause of many driver faults is the separation of two highly-related tasks: device verification and driver development. These two tasks have a lot in common, and result in software that is conceptually and functionally similar, yet kept totally separate. The result is a particularly bad case of duplication of effort: the verification code is correct, but is discarded after the device has been manufactured; the driver code is inferior, but used in actual device operation. They claim that the two tasks, and the software they produce, can and should be unified, and this will result in drastic improvement of device-driver quality and reduction in the development cost and time to market.

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