Browse Prior Art Database

HARDWARE Tracking Method

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000036075D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Blades, JA: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A unique method of tracking the hardware levels of cards in the fields uses Vital Product Data (VPD). This method uses fields in the VPD that were meant for other purposes to implement a unique hardware level tracking method. CARD VPD DESCRIPTION: EXISTING FIELD LENGTH (IN BYTES) CURRENT USE CARD P/N 12 LEVEL OF CARD BASED ON HARDWARE AND EEROS CHANGES

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HARDWARE Tracking Method

A unique method of tracking the hardware levels of cards in the fields uses Vital Product Data (VPD). This method uses fields in the VPD that were meant for other purposes to implement a unique hardware level tracking method. CARD VPD DESCRIPTION: EXISTING FIELD LENGTH (IN BYTES) CURRENT USE CARD P/N 12 LEVEL OF CARD BASED ON HARDWARE AND EEROS CHANGES

This data was used to track the part number of the card assembly. The CARD P/N (card part number) changes if the hardware level changed or the code in electrically erasable read-only storage (EEROS) changed. The data is initialized in manufacturing. The EEROS Update Utility (EUU) could update the code level in the field and change the CARD P/N to the correct number for that code level. This causes the customer engineer to lose track of the original hardware level of the card. This knowledge can be critical during problem determination. ALTERABLE ROS VPD FIELDS EXISTING FIELD LENGTH (IN BYTES) CURRENT USE ID 1 IDENTIFIES VPD ENTRY OR TYPE EEROS P/N 12 LEVEL OF EEROS ON THE CARDS E.C. 10 ENGINEERING CHANGE LEVEL MICROCODE FIX (MF) 1 MICROCODE FIX I.D. FOR EEROS PATCH 1 PATCH I.D.

FOR EEROS

These fields are also available in VPD. The E.C. field and MF field were not being used by the cards.

The E.C. and MF fields have been redefined to accommodate hardware level tracking. The E.C. field becomes the manufacturing hardware level and the MF field becomes a code flag to indicate status of the E.C....