Phoenix: detecting and recovering from permanent processor design bugs with programmable hardware

Smruti R. Sarangi, Abhishek Tiwari, Josep Torrellas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Although processor design verification consumes ever-increasing resources, many design defects still slip into production silicon. In a few cases, such bugs have caused expensive chip recalls. To truly improve productivity, hardware bugs should be handled like system software ones, with vendors periodically releasing patches to fix hardware in the field. Based on an analysis of serious design defects in current AMD, Intel, IBM, and Motorola processors, this paper proposes and evaluates Phoenix - novel field-programmable on-chip hardware that detects and recovers from design defects. Phoenix taps key logic signals and, based on downloaded defect signatures, combines the signals into conditions that flag defects. On defect detection, Phoenix flushes the pipeline and either retries or invokes a customized recovery handler. Phoenix induces negligible slowdown, while adding only 0.05% area and 0.48% wire overheads. Phoenix detects all the serious defects that are triggered by concurrent control signals. Moreover, it recovers from most of them, and simplifies recovery for the rest. Finally, we present an algorithm to automatically size Phoenix for new processors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 39th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO-39
Pages26-37
Number of pages12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006
Event39th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO-39 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Dec 9 2006Dec 13 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO
ISSN (Print)1072-4451

Other

Other39th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO-39
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL
Period12/9/0612/13/06

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering

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