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One more strange IT thing....

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More an off-topic for my blog but still quite interesting. Today I read about a software program that can extremely shorten the lifetime of a physical processor by running specific instructions on a specific part of the processor. How can this be possible?

The scientists around professor Ramesh Karri created a software program called MAGIC (Malicious Ageing in Circuits/Cores) that works in the execution phase of a processor. The software puts a 100% load on this special part and therefore causes the CPU to run without any "recreation times". This wears off this special part and causes a so called Negative-Bias Temperature Instability (NBTI). The affect is that for each transition between On and Off the needed input power will raise, so after some time the delay caused by the raising power requirements is that high that the processor will slow down or even break down. 

The NBTI affect is normal but with the tool mentioned above the time until NBTI will dramatically be reduced. The team was able to slow down an OpenSPARC CPU up to 11 percent within a single month thus causing a near-breakdown of the whole CPU.

They used OpenSPAR CPUs for tests because their architecture is open but the software could also be ported to other CPU architectures.

Image the consequents.....


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