No assignee for patent application serial number 407460 has been made.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Many electronic devices are implemented with system-on-chip (SoC) and the SoC usually includes embedded firmware that cannot be modified. Ideally, the firmware should be error free, however, errors may be found as the SoC is used and tested. The firmware of the SoC can be replaced by 'patch instructions' that may be stored in a random access memory (RAM), thus eliminating the costly process of redesigning the SoC.
"A conventional method for patching firmware includes predicting defects that may exist in the firmware to predetermine backup codes that are used to patch the firmware. The firmware can be stored in a read-only memory (ROM), and the backup codes can be stored in a random access memory (RAM). In order to ensure that the backup codes patch all the defects that are uncovered later on, the backup codes may include unnecessary codes, such as backup codes for patching defects that may not exist, and may occupy a considerable large space in the RAM. Moreover, since the prediction result of the defects may not be exactly consistent with the execution result of the firmware, it is still possible that the backup codes cannot patch all the defects that appear in reality. Therefore, it is to a system that enables easy replacement of firmware the present application is primarily directed."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one embodiment, the invention is an address selector that replaces an address pointing to a defective instruction in a built-in firmware. The address selector includes a comparing unit and a multiplexer. The comparing unit provides a comparison result by comparing a current address received from a processor with a predetermined address pointing to the defective instruction. The multiplexer coupled to the comparing unit receives a backup address pointing to a backup instruction, and the current address and if the current address matches the predetermined address, selects the backup address such that the current address is replaced by the backup address.
"In another embodiment, the invention is a controller for replacing a set of defective instructions in a built-in firmware. The controller includes a non-rewritable memory, a backup memory, an address selector and a processor. The non-rewritable memory has multiple original instructions at multiple original addresses. The backup memory has a set of backup instructions at a set of backup addresses to patch the set of defective instructions in the multiple original instructions. The address selector coupled to the non-rewritable memory and the backup memory selects an execution address from a group of addresses by comparing a current address with a predetermined address that points to a defective instruction of the set of defective instructions and provides the set of backup addresses to replace a set of original addresses that point to the set of defective instructions with, wherein the group of addresses includes the multiple original addresses and the set of backup addresses. The processor coupled to the non-rewritable memory, the backup memory, and the address selector provides the current address to the address selector and executes an execution instruction stored at the execution address.
"In yet another embodiment, the invention is a method for replacing a defective instruction in a built-in firmware that includes receiving, from a processor, a current address; providing the current address to an address selector; comparing, by the address selector, the current address with a predetermined address pointing to the defective instruction; if the current address matches the predetermined address, selecting a backup address that points to a backup instruction and replacing the current address with the backup address; retrieving the backup instruction stored at the backup address; and executing, by the processor, the backup instruction.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"Features and advantages of embodiments of the claimed subject matter will become apparent as the following detailed description proceeds, and upon reference to the drawings, wherein like numerals depict like parts, and in which:
"FIG. 1 shows an example of a block diagram of an electronic system, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
"FIG. 2 shows an example of a block diagram of a controller, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
"FIG. 3 shows an example of a block diagram of an address selector, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
"FIG. 4 shows a flowchart of an example of a method for replacing a defective instruction in a built-in firmware, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Peng, Xinsheng; Akagi, Katsutoshi; Her, Sheau-Chuen. Circuits and Methods for Replacing Defective Instructions. U.S. Patent Application Serial Number 407460, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Electronics, Random Access Memory.
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