UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A reconfigurable post-silicon debug infrastructure for systems-on-chip Quinton, Bradley


As the level of integrated circuit (IC) complexity continues to increase, the post-silicon validation stage is becoming a large component of the overall development cost. To address this, we propose a reconfigurable post-silicon debug infrastructure that enhances the post-silicon validation process by enabling the observation and control of signals that are internal to the manufactured device. The infrastructure is composed of dedicated programmable logic and programmable access networks. Our reconfigurable infrastructure enables not only the diagnoses of bugs; it also allows the detection and potential correction of errors in normal operation. In this thesis we describe the architecture, implementation and operation of our new infrastructure. Furthermore, we identify and address three key challenges arising from the implementation of this infrastructure. Our results demonstrate that it is possible to implement an effective reconfigurable post-silicon infrastructure that is able to observe and control circuits operating at full speed, with an area overhead of between 5% and 10% for many of our target ICs.

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