Data Centers

Necromancer: Enhancing System Throughput by Animating Dead Cores

Date Added: Jun 2010
Format: PDF

Aggressive technology scaling into the nanometer regime has led to a host of reliability challenges in the last several years. Unlike on-chip caches, which can be efficiently protected using conventional schemes, the general core area is less homogeneous and structured, making tolerating defects a much more challenging problem. Due to the lack of effective solutions, disabling non-functional cores is a common practice in industry to enhance manufacturing yield, which results in a significant reduction in system throughput. Although a faulty core cannot be trusted to correctly execute programs, the authors observe in this paper that for most defects, when starting from a valid architectural state, execution traces on a defective core actually coarsely resemble those of fault-free executions.