Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Integrated Circuit Boot Code and Fuse Storage Implemented on Interposer-Mounted Non-Volatile Memory", for Approval
No assignee for this patent application has been made.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This disclosure is directed to electronic systems, and more particularly, systems for storing boot code and configuration settings for computer processors.
"During the start up of a computer system, a processor executes a group of instructions commonly known as boot code. The boot code contains the initial instructions executed by the processor upon being powered up. These instructions may be used to perform various tasks such as performing self-tests, locating and initiating communications with peripheral devices, and locating and loading an operating system. This procedure is commonly referred to as a boot up. Additionally, a processor may access various configuration settings during boot up. Such configuration settings may include operating voltages, operating clock frequencies, information regarding power states, and information regarding portions of the processor that may be enabled or disabled.
"Boot code may be implemented on a read-only memory (ROM). Similarly, configuration settings may be accessed by reading a set of programmable fuses also implemented on the processor. The ROM storing the boot code (the 'boot ROM') may be implemented on the same integrated circuit die as the remainder of the processor. Changes to the boot code for future instances of the processor may be accomplished by changing masks used during fabrication of the integrated circuit upon which it is to be implemented. The programmable fuses may also be implemented on the same die using fuses that are typically one-time programmable."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A method and apparatus for replacing a boot ROM and programmable fuses using a non-volatile memory and an interposer is disclosed. In some embodiments, an apparatus includes an integrated circuit (IC) including one or more processor cores. The apparatus further includes a non-volatile memory configured to store configuration settings and boot code for the IC. The apparatus further includes an interposer. Both of the IC and the non-volatile memory are mounted on a substrate of the interposer. The IC and the non-volatile memory are electrically coupled to one another through the substrate.
"In some embodiments, a method includes providing power to an integrated circuit package including an interposer, an IC mounted on the interposer, and a non-volatile memory mounted on the interposer and electrically coupled to the IC. The method further includes initializing operation of the IC responsive to providing power, and performing a boot-up procedure, wherein performing the boot-up procedure comprises the IC accessing boot code from the non-volatile memory.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"Other aspects of the disclosure will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the accompanying drawings which are now briefly described.
"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a computer system, in accordance with some embodiments.
"FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an interposer with an integrated circuit (IC) die and a non-volatile memory, in accordance with some embodiments.
"FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate top and side views, respectively, of a package including an IC and a non-volatile memory mounted on an interposer, in accordance with some embodiments.
"FIG. 4 is a flow diagram illustrating a method for booting a computer system using a non-volatile memory separate from the IC, in accordance with some embodiments.
"FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a computer readable storage medium, in accordance with some embodiments.
"While the disclosed embodiments are susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, the disclosed embodiments are shown by way of example in the drawings and will herein be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the drawings and description thereto are not intended to limit the disclosed embodiments to the particular form disclosed, but, on the contrary, the disclosed embodiments are to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling with the spirit and scope of the disclosed embodiments as defined by the appended claims."
For additional information on this patent application, see: O'Mullan, Sean M.; Mulig, Jason. Integrated Circuit Boot Code and Fuse Storage Implemented on Interposer-Mounted Non-Volatile Memory. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Patents.
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