Coverage of a microarchitecture-level fault check regimen in a superscalar processor

Vimal Reddy, Eric Rotenberg
2008 2008 IEEE International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks With FTCS and DCC (DSN)  
Conventional processor fault tolerance based on time/space redundancy is robust but prohibitively expensive for commodity processors. This paper explores an unconventional approach to designing a cost-effective fault-tolerant superscalar processor. The idea is to engage a regimen of microarchitecture-level fault checks. A few simple microarchitecture-level fault checks can detect many arbitrary faults in large units, by observing microarchitecture-level behavior and anomalies in this behavior.
more » ... reviously, we separately proposed checks for the fetch and decode stages, rename stage, and issue stage of a contemporary superscalar processor. While each piece hinted at the possibility of a complete regimen -for an overall faulttolerant superscalar processor -this totality was not explored. This paper provides the culmination by building a full regimen into a superscalar processor. We show for the first time that the regimen-based approach provides substantial coverage of an entire superscalar processor. Analysis reveals vulnerable areas which should be the focus for regimen additions.
doi:10.1109/dsn.2008.4630065 dblp:conf/dsn/ReddyR08 fatcat:unq3sfknhjbgrnmpcbkjeqjh3y