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Publication numberUS20080040571 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/874,996
Publication date14 Feb 2008
Filing date19 Oct 2007
Priority date29 Oct 2004
Also published asUS7305574, US7590882, US20060095703, US20080040569
Publication number11874996, 874996, US 2008/0040571 A1, US 2008/040571 A1, US 20080040571 A1, US 20080040571A1, US 2008040571 A1, US 2008040571A1, US-A1-20080040571, US-A1-2008040571, US2008/0040571A1, US2008/040571A1, US20080040571 A1, US20080040571A1, US2008040571 A1, US2008040571A1
InventorsFrank Ferraiolo, Kevin Gower
Original AssigneeInternational Business Machines Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System, method and storage medium for bus calibration in a memory subsystem
US 20080040571 A1
Abstract
A cascaded interconnect system with one or more memory modules, a memory controller and a memory bus that utilizes periodic recalibration. The memory modules and the memory controller are directly interconnected by a packetized multi-transfer interface via the memory bus and provide scrambled data for use in the periodic recalibration.
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Claims(20)
1. A cascaded interconnect system comprising:
one or more memory modules;
a memory controller; and
a memory bus that utilizes periodic recalibration, wherein the memory modules and the memory controller are directly interconnected by a packetized multi-transfer interface via the memory bus and provide scrambled data for use in the periodic recalibration, the memory controller and the one or more memory modules including one or more of circuitry and logic to de-scramble bits received from the memory bus and to scramble bits transmitted to the memory bus, the memory bus including:
an upstream memory bus for transferring read data bits, a differential clock and bus level error code correction (ECC) bits from one or more of the memory modules to the memory controller; and
a downstream memory bus for transferring address bits, control bits, write bits, bus level ECC bits and a differential clock from the memory controller to one or more of the memory modules.
2. The system of claim 1 further comprising a sampling clock, wherein the recalibration includes synchronizing the sampling clock and a data phase of the scrambled data for data sampling on the memory bus.
3. The system of claim 1 further comprising a sampling clock wherein the recalibration includes adjusting the sampling clock so that it is centered between two consecutive edges of data on the memory bus.
4. The system of claim 1 wherein the memory bus includes a segment providing a connection between one of the memory modules and the memory controller or between two of the memory modules, the segment including a transmit side where scrambling is performed on input data resulting in scrambled data and a receive side where de-scrambling is performed on the scrambled data resulting in the input data.
5. The system of claim 4 further comprising circuitry for performing the scrambling and the de-scrambling.
6. The system of claim 4 wherein the scrambling and the de-scrambling are synchronized between the transmit side and the receive side.
7. The system of claim 4 wherein input to the scrambling and the de-scrambling includes a scrambling pattern.
8. The system of claim 4 wherein the scrambling and the de-scrambling are synchronized at system initialization.
9. The system of claim 4 wherein the scrambling and the de-scrambling are synchronized periodically during system operation.
10. The system of claim 1 wherein the memory modules operate at a memory module data rate and the memory bus operates at four times the memory module data rate.
11. A method for providing bus recalibration, the method comprising:
receiving input data at a transmit side, the transmit side including a memory controller or a memory module within a cascaded interconnect memory system;
scrambling the input data at the transmit side resulting in scrambled data;
transmitting the scrambled data to a receive side via a memory bus, the receive side including an other memory controller or memory module within the memory system, and the receive side directly connected to the transmit side by a packetized multi-transfer interface via the memory bus;
periodically synchronizing a sampling clock and a data phase of the scrambled data at the receive side for data sampling on the memory bus; and
de-scrambling the scrambled data at the receive side resulting in the input data, wherein the memory bus includes:
an upstream memory bus for transferring read data bits, a differential clock and bus level error code correction (ECC) bits from one or more of the memory modules to the memory controller; and
a downstream memory bus for transferring address bits, control bits, write bits, bus level ECC bits and a differential clock from the memory controller to one or more of the memory modules.
12. The method of claim 11 wherein the synchronizing includes determining a phase of the sampling clock for the data sampling on the memory bus.
13. The method of claim 11 wherein the synchronizing includes adjusting a phase of the sampling clock so that it is centered between two consecutive edges of the scrambled data on the memory bus.
14. The method of claim 11 wherein the scrambling and the de-scrambling are synchronized between the transmit side and the receive side.
15. The method of claim 11 wherein input to the scrambling and the de-scrambling includes a scrambling pattern.
16. The method of claim 11 wherein the scrambling and the de-scrambling are synchronized at system initialization.
17. The method of claim 11 wherein the scrambling and the de-scrambling are synchronized periodically during system operation.
18. The method of claim 11 wherein the memory modules operate at a memory module data rate and the memory bus operates at four times the memory module data rate.
19. A storage medium encoded with machine readable computer program code for providing bus recalibration, the storage medium including instructions for causing a computer to implement a method comprising:
receiving input data at a transmit side, the transmit side including a memory controller or a memory module within a cascaded interconnect memory system;
scrambling the input data at the transmit side resulting in scrambled data, the scrambling including mixing data bits in the input data with a known pattern designed to reduce the likelihood that the data will not switch within a selected number of bits;
transmitting the scrambled data to a receive side via a memory bus, the receive side including an other memory controller or memory module within the memory system, and the receive side directly connected to the transmit side by a packetized multi-transfer interface via the memory bus;
periodically synchronizing a sampling clock and a data phase of the scrambled data at the receive side for data sampling on the memory bus; and
de-scrambling the scrambled data at the receive side resulting in the input data wherein the memory bus includes:
an upstream memory bus for transferring read data bits, a differential clock and bus level error code correction (ECC) bits from one or more of the memory modules to the memory controller; and
a downstream memory bus for transferring address bits, control bits, write bits, bus level ECC bits and a differential clock from the memory controller to one or more of the memory modules.
20. The storage medium of claim 19 wherein the synchronizing includes one or more of determining a phase of the sampling clock for the data sampling on the memory bus and adjusting a phase of the sampling clock so that it is centered between two consecutive edges of the scrambled data on the memory bus.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation application of U.S. Ser. No. 10/977,048, filed Oct. 29, 2004, the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein in their entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The invention relates to a memory subsystem and in particular, to bus calibration in a memory subsystem.
  • [0003]
    Computer memory subsystems have evolved over the years, but continue to retain many consistent attributes. Computer memory subsystems from the early 1980's, such as the one disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,475,194 to LaVallee et al., of common assignment herewith, included a memory controller, a memory assembly (contemporarily called a basic storage module (BSM) by the inventors) with array devices, buffers, terminators and ancillary timing and control functions, as well as several point-to-point busses to permit each memory assembly to communicate with the memory controller via its own point-to-point address and data bus. FIG. 1 depicts an example of this early 1980 computer memory subsystem with two BSMs, a memory controller, a maintenance console, and point-to-point address and data busses connecting the BSMs and the memory controller.
  • [0004]
    FIG. 2, from U.S. Pat. No. 5,513,135 to Dell et al., of common assignment herewith, depicts an early synchronous memory module, which includes synchronous dynamic random access memories (DRAMs) 8, buffer devices 12, an optimized pinout, an interconnect and a capacitive decoupling method to facilitate operation. The patent also describes the use of clock re-drive on the module, using such devices as phase lock loops (PLLs).
  • [0005]
    FIG. 3, from U.S. Pat. No. 6,510,100 to Grundon et al., of common assignment herewith, depicts a simplified diagram and description of a memory system 10 that includes up to four registered dual inline memory modules (DIMMs) 40 on a traditional multi-drop stub bus channel. The subsystem includes a memory controller 20, an external clock buffer 30, registered DIMMs 40, an address bus 50, a control bus 60 and a data bus 70 with terminators 95 on the address bus 50 and data bus 70.
  • [0006]
    FIG. 4 depicts a 1990's memory subsystem which evolved from the structure in FIG. 1 and includes a memory controller 402, one or more high speed point-to-point channels 404, each connected to a bus-to-bus converter chip 406, and each having a synchronous memory interface 408 that enables connection to one or more registered DIMMs 410. In this implementation, the high speed, point-to-point channel 404 operated at twice the DRAM data rate, allowing the bus-to-bus converter chip 406 to operate one or two registered DIMM memory channels at the full DRAM data rate. Each registered DIMM included a PLL, registers, DRAMs, an electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) and terminators, in addition to other passive components.
  • [0007]
    As shown in FIG. 5, memory subsystems were often constructed with a memory controller connected either to a single memory module, or to two or more memory modules interconnected on a ‘stub’ bus. FIG. 5 is a simplified example of a multi-drop stub bus memory structure, similar to the one shown in FIG. 3. This structure offers a reasonable tradeoff between cost, performance, reliability and upgrade capability, but has inherent limits on the number of modules that may be attached to the stub bus. The limit on the number of modules that may be attached to the stub bus is directly related to the data rate of the information transferred over the bus. As data rates increase, the number and length of the stubs must be reduced to ensure robust memory operation. Increasing the speed of the bus generally results in a reduction in modules on the bus, with the optimal electrical interface being one in which a single module is directly connected to a single controller, or a point-to-point interface with few, if any, stubs that will result in reflections and impedance discontinuities. As most memory modules are sixty-four or seventy-two bits in data width, this structure also requires a large number of pins to transfer address, command, and data. One hundred and twenty pins are identified in FIG. 5 as being a representative pincount.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 6, from U.S. Pat. No. 4,723,120 to Petty, of common assignment herewith, is related to the application of a daisy chain structure in a multipoint communication structure that would otherwise require multiple ports, each connected via point-to-point interfaces to separate devices. By adopting a daisy chain structure, the controlling station can be produced with fewer ports (or channels), and each device on the channel can utilize standard upstream and downstream protocols, independent of their location in the daisy chain structure.
  • [0009]
    FIG. 7 represents a daisy chained memory bus, implemented consistent with the teachings in U.S. Pat. No. 4,723,120. A memory controller 111 is connected to a memory bus 315, which further connects to a module 310 a. The information on bus 315 is re-driven by the buffer on module 310 a to the next module, 310 b, which further re-drives the bus 315 to module positions denoted as 310 n. Each module 310 a includes a DRAM 311 a and a buffer 320 a. The bus 315 may be described as having a daisy chain structure, with each bus being point-to-point in nature.
  • [0010]
    In chip to chip (e.g., controller to module, module to module) communication, it is common place to design receive side circuits and/or logic to aid in the sampling of the incoming data to improve the performance of the interface. Typically the circuitry senses transitions on the incoming data. Based on the position or phase arrival of the data transitions, an algorithm determines the optimum phase of the clock to sample the incoming data. See FIG. 8, where the clock is centered between two consecutive edges of data. The guardbands are used to sense and to equally center the clock within the data transitions. Designers may use a phased loop lock (PLL), a delay locked loop (DLL) or various other closed loop techniques to determine and then to set the optimal phase of the sampling clock. Without transitions on the incoming data, there is no information to sense or to base a relative comparison of the sampling clock to the incoming data. If long periods of time elapse without transitions on data, the sampling clock may drift with changes in temperature or power supply, thus increasing the sampling error and decreasing the performance of the interface.
  • [0011]
    In order to ensure that there is some minimum transition density within the data, designers often code the data. The 8/10 code is a well known code that encodes an eight bit data stream into ten bits to ensure transitions always exist on data. However, the impact on bandwidth is twenty percent because what would normally take eight bit times to transfer the required information now takes ten bits with the overhead of the coding fniction. An alternative to coding is to periodically interrupt data transfers and to send a known pattern(s). Although the impact on bandwidth may be much smaller than with the coding alternative, this approach also has its drawbacks since the system operation must be halted before the special patterns can be transmitted.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0012]
    Exemplary embodiments of the present invention include a cascaded interconnect system with one or more memory modules, a memory controller and a memory bus. The memory bus utilizes periodic recalibration. The memory modules and the memory controller are directly interconnected by a packetized multi-transfer interface via the memory bus and provide scrambled data for use in the periodic recalibration.
  • [0013]
    Additional exemplary embodiments include a method for providing periodic recalibration of a memory bus in a cascaded interconnect memory system. The method includes receiving input data at a transmit side, where the transmit side includes a memory controller or a memory module within the memory system. The input data is scrambled at the transmit side, resulting in scrambled data for use in the periodic recalibration of the memory bus. The scrambled data is transmitted to a receive side via the memory bus, where the receive side includes a memory controller or a memory module directly connected to the transmit side by a packetized multi-transfer interface via the memory bus. A sampling clock and a data phase of the scrambled data is periodically synchronized at the receive side for data sampling on the memory bus. The scrambled data is de-scrambled at the receive side, resulting in the original input data.
  • [0014]
    Further exemplary embodiments include a storage medium with machine readable computer program code for providing periodic bus recalibration of a memory bus in a cascaded interconnect memory subsystem. The storage medium includes instructions for causing a computer to implement a method. The method includes receiving input data at a transmit side, where the transmit side includes a memory controller or a memory module within the memory system. The input data is scrambled at the transmit side, resulting in scrambled data for use in the periodic recalibration of the memory bus. The scrambled data is transmitted to a receive side via the memory bus, where the receive side includes a memory controller or a memory module directly connected to the transmit side by a packetized multi-transfer interface via the memory bus. A sampling clock and a data phase of the scrambled data is periodically synchronized at the receive side for data sampling on the memory bus. The scrambled data is de-scrambled at the receive side, resulting in the original input data.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    Referring now to the drawings wherein like elements are numbered alike in the several FIGURES:
  • [0016]
    FIG. 1 depicts a prior art memory controller connected to two buffered memory assemblies via separate point-to-point links;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 2 depicts a prior art synchronous memory module with a buffer device;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 3 depicts a prior art memory subsystem using registered DIMMs;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 4 depicts a prior art memory subsystem with point-to-point channels, registered DIMMs, and a 2:1 bus speed multiplier;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 5 depicts a prior art memory structure that utilizes a multidrop memory ‘stub’ bus;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 6 depicts a prior art daisy chain structure in a multipoint communication structure that would otherwise require multiple ports;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 7 depicts a prior art daisy chain connection between a memory controller and memory modules;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 8 depicts a prior art data sampling schematic;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 9 depicts a cascaded memory structure that is utilized by exemplary embodiments of the present invention;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 10 depicts a memory structure with cascaded memory modules and unidirectional busses that is utilized by exemplary embodiments of the present invention;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 11 depicts a buffered module wiring system that is utilized by exemplary embodiments of the present invention;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 12 depicts a memory subsystem that is utilized by exemplary embodiments of the present invention; and
  • [0028]
    FIG. 13 depicts exemplary circuitry for providing bus calibration in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0029]
    Exemplary embodiments of the present invention provide scrambled data for use in calibrating busses in a memory subsystem. Data being transferred across wires within the memory subsystem are scrambled at a transmitting memory module or controller before being transferred and then de-scrambled at a receiving memory module or controller. Data bits are scrambled by mixing the data bits with a known pattern to reduce the likelihood that the data will not switch (i.e., go from a one to a zero or from a zero to a one) within a particular number of bits (e.g., sixty-four). As described previously, transitions on the wire are used for determining an optimum phase of a clock for data sampling on the wire.
  • [0030]
    Scrambling minimizes the likelihood that the data will not switch, and it does this without impacting bandwidth or requiring system operation to be halted. When using a sixty-four bit scrambling pattern, the chance of the exact inverse pattern of raw data being transmitted (and therefore no transitions in the data after it is scrambled), is approximately two to the sixty-fourth power. Over a longer period of time (e.g., after thousands of bits are transmitted) the likelihood of no data transitions on the transmitted (i.e., scrambled) data stream approaches zero. Another advantage of the scrambling approach is that the logic and additional latency required to implement scrambling is relatively small.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 9 depicts a cascaded memory structure that may be utilized by exemplary embodiments of the present invention. This memory structure includes a memory controller 902 in communication with one or more memory modules 906 via a high speed point-to-point bus 904. Each bus 904 in the exemplary embodiment depicted in FIG. 9 includes approximately fifty high speed wires for the transfer of address, command, data and clocks. By using point-to-point busses as described in the aforementioned prior art, it is possible to optimize the bus design to permit significantly increased data rates, as well as to reduce the bus pincount by transferring data over multiple cycles. In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the memory controller 902 and memory modules 906 include or have access to scrambling and de-scrambling logic and/or circuitry. Whereas FIG. 4 depicts a memory subsystem with a two to one ratio between the data rate on any one of the busses connecting the memory controller to one of the bus converters (e.g., to 1,066 Mb/s per pin) versus any one of the busses between the bus converter and one or more memory modules (e.g., to 533 Mb/s per pin), an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, as depicted in FIG. 9, provides a four to one bus speed ratio to maximize bus efficiency and to minimize pincount.
  • [0032]
    Although point-to-point interconnects permit higher data rates, overall memory subsystem efficiency must be achieved by maintaining a reasonable number of memory modules 906 and memory devices per channel (historically four memory modules with four to thirty-six chips per memory module, but as high as eight memory modules per channel and as few as one memory module per channel). Using a point-to-point bus necessitates a bus re-drive function on each memory module. The bus re-drive function permits memory modules to be cascaded such that each memory module is interconnected to other memory modules, as well as to the memory controller 902.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 10 depicts a memory structure with cascaded memory modules and unidirectional busses that is utilized by exemplary embodiments of the present invention. One of the functions provided by the memory modules 906 in the cascade structure is a re-drive function to send signals on the memory bus to other memory modules 906 or to the memory controller 902. FIG. 10 includes the memory controller 902 and four memory modules 906 a, 906 b, 906 c and 906 d, on each of two memory busses (a downstream memory bus 1004 and an upstream memory bus 1002), connected to the memory controller 902 in either a direct or cascaded manner. Memory module 906 a is connected to the memory controller 902 in a direct manner. Memory modules 906 b, 906 c and 906 d are connected to the controller 902 in a cascaded manner.
  • [0034]
    An exemplary embodiment of the present invention includes two uni-directional busses between the memory controller 902 and memory module 906 a (“DIMM #1”), as well as between each successive memory module 906 b-d (“DIMM #2”, “DIMM #3” and “DIMM #4”) in the cascaded memory structure. The downstream memory bus 1004 is comprised of twenty-two single-ended signals and a differential clock pair. The downstream memory bus 1004 is used to transfer address, control, write data and bus-level error code correction (ECC) bits downstream from the memory controller 902, over several clock cycles, to one or more of the memory modules 906 installed on the cascaded memory channel. The upstream memory bus 1002 is comprised of twenty-three single-ended signals and a differential clock pair, and is used to transfer read data and bus-level ECC bits upstream from the sourcing memory module 906 to the memory controller 902. Using this memory structure, and a four to one data rate multiplier between the DRAM data rate (e.g., 400 to 800 Mb/s per pin) and the unidirectional memory bus data rate (e.g., 1.6 to 3.2 Gb/s per pin), the memory controller 902 signal pincount, per memory channel, is reduced from approximately one hundred and twenty pins to about fifty pins.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 11 depicts a buffered module wiring system that is utilized by exemplary embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 11 is a pictorial representation of a memory module, with shaded arrows representing the primary signal flows. The signal flows include the upstream memory bus 1002, the downstream memory bus 1004, memory device address and command busses 1110 and 1106, and memory device data busses 1112 and 1108. In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a buffer device 1102, also referred to as a memory interface chip, provides two copies of the address and command signals to SDRAMs 1104 with the right memory device address and command bus 1106 exiting from the right side of the buffer device 1102 for the SDRAMs 1104 located to the right side and behind the buffer device 1102 on the right. The left memory device address and command bus 1110 exits from the left side of the buffer device 1102 and connects to the SDRAMs 1104 to the left side and behind the buffer device 1102 on the left. Similarly, the data bits intended for SDRAMs 1104 to the right of the buffer device 1102 exit from the right of the buffer device 1102 on the right memory device data bus 1108. The data bits intended for the left side of the buffer device 1102 exit from the left of the buffer device 1102 on the left memory device data bus 1112. The high speed upstream memory bus 1002 and downstream memory bus 1004 exit from the lower portion of the buffer device 1102, and connect to a memory controller or other memory modules either upstream or downstream of this memory module 906, depending on the application. The buffer device 1102 receives signals that are four times the memory module data rate and converts them into signals at the memory module data rate.
  • [0036]
    The memory controller 902 interfaces to the memory modules 906 via a pair of high speed busses (or channels). The downstream memory bus 1004 (outbound from the memory controller 902) interface has twenty-four pins and the upstream memory bus 1002 (inbound to the memory controller 902) interface has twenty-five pins. The high speed channels each include a clock pair (differential), a spare bit lane, ECC syndrome bits and the remainder of the bits pass information (based on the operation underway). Due to the cascaded memory structure, all nets are point-to-point, allowing reliable high-speed communication that is independent of the number of memory modules 906 installed. For each wire within a segment of the downstream memory bus 1004 and each wire within a segment of the upstream memory bus 1002 scrambling logic and/or circuitry at a sending end and de-scrambling logic and/or circuitry at a receiving end is applied. Whenever a memory module 906 receives a packet on either bus, it re-synchronizes the command to the internal clock and re-drives (including scrambling) the command to the next memory module 906 in the chain (if one exists).
  • [0037]
    FIG. 12 depicts a memory subsystem that is utilized by exemplary embodiments of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 12, the memory controller 902 and memory modules 906 include a scrambling pattern and scrambling functions that may be implemented by hardware circuitry and/or software logic. Scrambling functions include data scrambling and data de-scrambling, as well as keeping track of one or more pointers for determining a current placement within the scrambling pattern. In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the scrambling and de-scrambling functions are performed in the same manner (e.g., with the same logic and with the same circuitry). One pointer is maintained for each scramble/de-scramble pair in order to synchronize the correct location in the scrambling pattern to be utilized for the scrambling/de-scrambling.
  • [0038]
    For example, the memory controller 902 and memory module 906 a in FIG. 12 include “pointer 1”. When the memory controller 902 scrambles data to be sent to memory module 906 a, the memory controller uses “pointer 1” to index into the scrambling pattern to point to the bit in the scrambling pattern that is being utilized for scrambling/de-scrambling. If the value of “pointer 1” at the memory controller 902 is five for the first bit being scrambled, then the value of “pointer 1” must be five at memory module 906 a when the first bit is de-scrambled in order to ensure that the correct bit within the scrambling pattern is being utilized to de-scramble the first bit from the memory controller 902 (i.e., the input data). The pointers may be synchronized at memory subsystem initialization and then re-initialized as deemed required. The second bit would be scrambled and de-scrambled using a pointer value of six, the third bit would be scrambled using a pointer value of seven, etc. The de-scrambling process on the receive side returns the raw transmitted data back to its original values. Hence, the scrambling process is transparent to both ends of the link. Other methods of synchronizing the scrambling pattern between the transmit side and receive side may be utilized by alternate exemplary embodiments of the present invention to ensure that the same values within the scrambling pattern are being utilized to perform the scrambling and the corresponding de-scrambling.
  • [0039]
    In exemplary embodiments of the present invention, the pattern used to scramble the data (i.e., the scrambling pattern) is a predetermined value stored in a sixty-four bit register. The pattern is replicated on both sides of the link. In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the scrambling pattern is the same for all components (i.e., memory controller 902 and memory modules 906) within the memory subsystem. In alternate exemplary embodiment of the present invention the scrambling patterns may be different between different pairs of pointers within the memory subsystem.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 13 depicts exemplary circuitry for providing bus calibration in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention. The circuitry depicted in FIG. 13 is replicated for each of the twenty-three wires on the upstream memory bus 1002 and for each of the twenty-two wires on the downstream memory bus 1004. As shown in FIG. 13, an exclusive-or (XOR) gate is used to mix the scrambling pattern with the raw data to be transmitted. The transmit side scrambles the data and the receive side de-scrambles the data. The sampling clock and data phase for the data received on the bus are synchronized to improve the sampling of the data. In the exemplary embodiment depicted in FIG. 13, the delay line shown on the receive side is utilized to manipulate the phase of the incoming data to synchronize the clock with the incoming data and is part of the receive side clock to data optimization closed loop. In alternate exemplary embodiments of the present invention, the sampling clock and/or data phase are manipulated to perform the synchronizing. The de-scrambling circuit needs to be operated in synchronization with the transmit sequence, i.e., scramble bit number one on the transmit side must be correctly matched to de-scramble bit number one on the receive side. This may be accomplished at power on with an initialization sequence. Portions of the circuitry and/or logic may be located within the memory bus and/or within the memory modules 906 and the memory controller 902.
  • [0041]
    In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, one property of the initialization sequence is that it is unique once every sixty-four bits (i.e., a logic one followed by sixty-three zeros). Initially, the scrambling functions (including setting the pointers) are inhibited while the initialization sequence is transmitted but the scrambling pointers are reset to count in synchronization with the initialization sequence. On the receive side, the single logic one in the initialization sequence is decoded and identified. The de-scrambling pointer on the receive side is then reset and synchronized with the initialization pattern. After initialization is complete, the scrambling/de-scrambling functions can be activated. The scrambling pattern may take on many forms; below is a sixty-three bit pattern that was generated from a sixth order pseudo random binary sequence (PRBS) generator:
      • 1010101100110111011010010011100010111100101000110000100000111111.
  • [0043]
    A maximal length polynomial, p(x)=1+x+x6, was utilized to derive the above scrambling pattern but any method of deriving a scrambling pattern may be utilized by exemplary embodiments of the present invention. In addition, the scrambling pattern may be a different length (e.g., thirty-two bits or one hundred and twenty-eight bits) than the one shown above.
  • [0044]
    Applying an XOR to the input data and the scrambling pattern results in scrambled data for transmission to a receiving side. An XOR is then applied to the scrambled data and the same bits in the scrambling pattern resulting in the original input data. In the following example, the scrambling pattern is as shown above, the scrambling pointer has a value of nine and the input data is equal to “0000.” The scrambled data is created by applying an XOR to “0011” (the ninth through twelfth bit in the scrambling pattern) and “0000” (the input data), resulting in the scrambled data value of “0011”. After the data is transmitted to the receiving side, it is de-scrambled by applying an XOR to “0011” (the scrambled data value) and “0011” (the ninth through twelfth bit in the scrambling pattern), resulting in the input data value of “0000.”
  • [0045]
    Exemplary embodiments of the present invention may be utilized to decrease the likelihood that data transmitted across the memory subsystem bus will not switch. This can be performed without impacting bandwidth or requiring system operation to be halted by using a scrambling pattern. Another advantage of the scrambling approach is that the logic and additional latency required to implement scrambling within the memory subsystem is relatively small.
  • [0046]
    As described above, the embodiments of the invention may be embodied in the form of computer-implemented processes and apparatuses for practicing those processes. Embodiments of the invention may also be embodied in the form of computer program code containing instructions embodied in tangible media, such as floppy diskettes, CD-ROMs, hard drives, or any other computer-readable storage medium, wherein, when the computer program code is loaded into and executed by a computer, the computer becomes an apparatus for practicing the invention. The present invention can also be embodied in the form of computer program code, for example, whether stored in a storage medium, loaded into and/or executed by a computer, or transmitted over some transmission medium, such as over electrical wiring or cabling, through fiber optics, or via electromagnetic radiation, wherein, when the computer program code is loaded into and executed by a computer, the computer becomes an apparatus for practicing the invention. When implemented on a general-purpose microprocessor, the computer program code segments configure the microprocessor to create specific logic circuits.
  • [0047]
    While the invention has been described with reference to exemplary embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, the use of the terms first, second, etc. do not denote any order or importance, but rather the terms first, second, etc. are used to distinguish one element from another.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification711/170
International ClassificationG06F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06F13/4239
European ClassificationG06F13/42C3A