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Algorithms for State Restoration and Trace-Signal Selection for Data Acquisition in Silicon Debug

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2 Author(s)
Ko, H.F. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON ; Nicolici, N.

To locate and correct design errors that escape pre-silicon verification, silicon debug has become a necessary step in the implementation flow of digital integrated circuits. Embedded logic analysis, which employs on-chip storage units to acquire data in real time from the internal signals of the circuit-under-debug, has emerged as a powerful technique for improving observability during in-system debug. However, as the amount of data that can be acquired is limited by the on-chip storage capacity, the decision on which signals to sample is essential when it is not known a priori where the bugs will occur. In this paper, we present accelerated algorithms for restoring circuit state elements from the traces collected during a debug session, by exploiting bitwise parallelism. We also introduce new metrics that guide the automated selection of trace signals, which can enhance the real-time observability during in-system debug.

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 2 )