Browse Prior Art Database

Microcode Analyzer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000038978D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dool, DL: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

As microcode testing continues to absorb increasing amounts of test time and resources, an effective means of microcode test evaluation and improvement grows in importance. Microcode coverage measurement tools have been developed to assist the tester in devising more efficient test case libraries to accommodate shrinking test cycles. Objectives in the creation of a microcode analyzer included the ability to simultaneously monitor multiple processors and to provide coverage measurements for prefetch type processors. The analyzer using an IBM Personal Computer (PC) results in a portable unit. Coverage measurements made by the analyzer include recording the microcode control-paths executed and the frequency of execution during the test period.

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Microcode Analyzer

As microcode testing continues to absorb increasing amounts of test time and resources, an effective means of microcode test evaluation and improvement grows in importance. Microcode coverage measurement tools have been developed to assist the tester in devising more efficient test case libraries to accommodate shrinking test cycles. Objectives in the creation of a microcode analyzer included the ability to simultaneously monitor multiple processors and to provide coverage measurements for prefetch type processors. The analyzer using an IBM Personal Computer (PC) results in a portable unit. Coverage measurements made by the analyzer include recording the microcode control- paths executed and the frequency of execution during the test period. Adapter cards, which preprocess the instruction address stream, allow coverage measurements to be made for prefetch processors. The analyzer is a passive device in that it has no negative effect on performance throughput of the system being tested. Two analyzer units can be controlled by a single IBM PC. Controls between the units allow synchronized monitoring of multiple processors for recording of either path coverage or trace information. Analysis of the interaction between processors, and resolving problems resulting from this interaction, is facilitated by this feature. When two analyzer units are attached, synchronous operation is achieved with master/slave communication between the analyzer units. Connection to the unit under test processor is accomplished with several active probes, each containing nine signal-channels. The number of probes required is dependent upon the type of processor and its addressing range. The tester controls all functions of the analyzer through the IBM PC keyboard. Menu displays provide single-key invocation of coverage or trace function parameters, except when a specific address entry is necessary. When a coverage or trace function has been completed, the tester can examine the data captured in the analyzer units by viewing it on the I...