Post-Silicon Bug Diagnosis With Inconsistent Executions

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Executive Summary

The complexity of modern chips intensifies verification challenges, and an increasing share of this verification effort is shouldered by post-silicon validation. Focusing on the first silicon prototypes, post-silicon validation poses critical new challenges such as intermittent failures, where multiple executions of a same test do not yield a consistent outcome. These are often due to on-chip asynchronous events and electrical effects, leading to extremely time-consuming, if not unachievable, bug diagnosis and debugging processes. In this paper, the authors propose a methodology called BPS (Bug Positioning System) to support the automatic diagnosis of these difficult bugs.

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