On-chip Timing Uncertainty Measurements on IBM Microprocessors
Timing uncertainty in microprocessors is comprised of several sources including PLL jitter, clock distribution skew and jitter, across chip device variations, and power supply noise. The on-chip measurement macro called SKITTER (SKew+jITTER) was designed to measure timing uncertainty from all combined sources by measuring the number of logic stages that complete in a cycle. This measure of completed delay stages has proven to be a very sensitive monitor of power supply noise, which has emerged as a dominant component of timing uncertainty. This paper describes the Skitter measurement experiences of several IBM microprocessors including PPC970MP, XBOX360, CELL Broadband Engine, and POWER6 microprocessors running different workloads.
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