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Method for a silicon debug tool for a dynamic standardized boundary scan chain

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000078146D
Publication Date: 2005-Feb-25
Document File: 4 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for a silicon debug tool for a dynamic standardized boundary scan chain. Benefits include improved functionality and improved performance.

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Method for a silicon debug tool for a dynamic standardized boundary scan chain

Disclosed is a method for a silicon debug tool for a dynamic standardized boundary scan chain. Benefits include improved functionality and improved performance.

Background

              An In-Target Probe (ITP) is conventionally used to validate microprocessors and chipsets and to isolate system, compatibility, and software problems. The ITP plugs into the debug port of a target system and provides access to the debug features of each device in the standardized boundary scan chain.

              Because server memory sizes are steadily increasing, entire databases can run in memory, which provides near instantaneous response times. However, as server memory size increases, so does the demand for recovering memory errors with minimal server downtime. As a result, memory is available with hot plug capability, which enables memory to be replaced or upgraded without requiring the server to be unavailable.

              Hot pluggable memory presents a challenge to silicon/chipset debug tools, such as ITPs, which are designed with the assumption that a debug session operates on a static standardized boundary scan chain. ITPs do not function with a dynamic scan chain. The only conventional option available for hot pluggable or dynamically changing devices is to restart the ITP, causing the loss of the debug state stored in the ITP and possibly requiring many hours for recovery. The capability to collect debug state data through multiple reconfigurations becomes increasingly important as platforms become more versatile in their ability to replace/upgrade devices without a system shutdown.

General description

              The disclosed method enables ITPs to automatically adapt to changes in dynamic standardized boundary scan chains without restarting. The key elements of the disclosed method include:

•             Control variables

•             Scan chain change detection

•             Scan chain change adaptation

              The disclosed method can be used for debug/validation in the face of hot pluggable devices. However, there are other applications of the disclosed method. For example, any time the standardized boundary scan chain can change dynamically, the disclosed method can be used. Additionally, dynamically appearing/disappearing threads on a processor could be debugged using the disclosed method. 

Advantages

              The disclosed method provides advantages, including:
•             Improved functionality due to enabling an ITP to accommodate repeated updates to the standardized boundary scan chain in a single debug session

•             Improved functionality due to enabling users to collect debug state information through multiple reconfigurations

•             Improved functionality due to providing ITP control variables

•             Improved functionality due to providing standardized boundary scan chain change detection
•             Improved performance due to accommoda...