Trace-based microarchitecture-level diagnosis of permanent hardware faults

Man Lap Li, Pradeep Ramachandran, Swamp K. Sahoo, Sarita V. Adve, Vikram S. Adve, Yuanyuan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


As devices continue to scale, future shipped hardware will likely fail due to in-the-field hardware faults. As traditional redundancy-based hardware reliability solutions that tackle these faults will be too expensive to be broadly deployable, recent research has focused on low-overhead reliability solutions. One approach is to employ low-overhead ("always-on") detection techniques that catch high-level symptoms and pay a higher overhead for (rarely invoked) diagnosis. This paper presents trace-based fault diagnosis, a diagnosis strategy that identifies permanent faults in microarchitectural units by analyzing the faulty core's instruction trace. Once a fault is detected, the faulty core is rolled back and re-executes from a previous checkpoint, generating a faulty instruction trace and recording the microarchitecture-level resource usage. A diagnosis process on another fault-free core then generates a fault-free trace which it compares with the faulty trace to identify the faulty unit. Our result shows that this approach successfully diagnoses 98% of the faults studied and is a highly robust and flexible way for diagnosing permanent faults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN-2008 - Anchorage, AK, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2008Jun 27 2008


Other2008 International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN-2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAnchorage, AK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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