Browse Prior Art Database

Method for Customized Initialization of Computer Chips

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022338D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for handling per-chip customized initialization of computer chips.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Method for Customized Initialization of Computer Chips

Some Computer chips are designed in such a way that there are a number of configurable facilities such as steering to make use of redundant bits in the arrays, voltage control, and thermal control. The testing done during the processor chip manufacturing process can determine the optimal settings for these facilities for each unique processor chip. The method disclosed here shows how to use these optimal settings when booting a system which includes these customizable chips. These optimal settings may also change over time as the chip is run. This method also addresses that situation.

     This method provides a means for having customized initialization data placed in the Vital Product Data (VPD) of the Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) during manufacture so that it can be retrieved at system boot time and then used to initialize the chip.

     It further allows for modification of this initialization data as additional conditions are discovered after the chip has been booted.

     Since the conditions that lead to modifications of the initialization data may be related to the placement of the FRU containing this chip in a specific system and since the FRU may be moved to a different location in the current system or another system, there is the ability to revert back to the initial customized data settings that were placed in the VPD at manufacturing.

     As mentioned above, chip manufacturing testing can determine the optimal settings for the various facilities based on extended testing with varying voltage, temperature, clock frequency, or other parameters. These optimal settings are kept in a manufacturing database which can be accessed for each chip. At the point in the manufacturing process where the individual chips have been placed into a module or mounted on a FRU and VPD is being written for the FRU, the data from the manufacturing database for the specific chip or chips used in this FRU is added to the VPD for the FRU.

     The data added to the VPD contains keywords which identify the specific chip on the FRU and each of the facilities where there is customized initialization data for that chip. For example, each data block would contain: RT = record type which identifies if this is a Single Chip Module (SCM) or which chip on a Multi-Chip Module (MCM) ED = the data which is used to uniquely identify a computer chip AR = array repair data used to steer around nonfunctional portion of the arrays VC = voltage control data
TC = thermal contr...