Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Rights Management

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Abstract or Description

Concurrent autonomous self-test, or online self-test, allows a system to test itself, concurrently during normal operation, with no system downtime visible to the end-user. Online self-test is important for overcoming major reliability challenges such as early-life failures and circuit aging in future System-on-Chips (SoCs). To ensure required levels of overall reliability of SoCs, it is essential to apply online self-test to uncore components, e.g., cache controllers, DRAM controllers, and I/O controllers, in addition to processor cores. This is because uncore components can account for a significant portion of the overall logic area of a multi-core SoC. In this paper, we present an efficient online self-test technique foruncore components in SoCs. We achieve extremely high test coverage by storing high-quality testpatterns in off-chip non-volatile storage. However, a simple technique that stalls the uncore-component-under-test can result in significant system performance degradation or even visible systemunresponsiveness. Our new techniques overcome these challenges and enable cost-effective onlineself-test of uncore components through three special hardware features: 1. resource reallocation and sharing (RRS); 2. no-performance-impact testing; and, 3. smart backups. Implementation of online self-test for uncore components of the open-source OpenSPARC T2 multi-core SoC, using a combination of these three techniques, achieves high test coverage at < 1% area impact, < 1% power impact, and < 3% system-level performance impact. These results demonstrate the effectiveness and practicality of our techniques.





Published In

Proceedings of the VSLI Test Symposium (VTS), 2010, 232-237.