Chipkill – The BIOS Optimization Guide

Chipkill - The BIOS Optimization Guide

Chipkill

Common Options : Enabled, Disabled

 

Quick Review

Chipkill is an enhanced ECC (Error Checking and Correcting) technology developed by IBM. Like standard ECC, it can only be enabled if your system has two active ECC memory channels.

This BIOS feature controls the memory controller’s Chipkill functionality.

When enabled, the memory controller will use Chipkill to detect single-symbol and double-symbol errors, and correct single-symbol errors.

When disabled, the memory controller will not use Chipkill. Instead, it will perform standard ECC to detect single-bit and double-bit errors, and correct single-bit errors.

If you already spent so much money buying ECC memory and a motherboard that supports Chipkill, you should definitely enable this BIOS feature, because it offers a much greater level of data integrity than standard ECC.

You should only disable this BIOS feature if your system only uses a single ECC module.

 

Details

Chipkill is an enhanced ECC (Error Checking and Correcting) technology developed by IBM. Like standard ECC, it can only be enabled if your system has two active ECC memory channels.

Normal ECC technology make use of eight ECC bits for every 64-bits of data and the Hamming code. This allows it to detect all single-bit and double-bit errors, but correct only single bit errors.

IBM’s Chipkill technology makes use of the BCH (Bose, Ray-Chaudhuri, Hocquenghem) code with sixteen ECC bits for every 128-bits of data. It can detect all single-symbol and double-symbol errors, but correct only single-symbol errors.

A symbol, by the way, is a group of 4-bits. A single symbol error is any error combination within that symbol. That means a single symbol error can consist of anything from one to four corrupted bits. Chipkill is therefore capable of detecting and correcting more errors than standard ECC.

Unlike standard ECC, Chipkill can only be used in systems with two channels of ECC memory (128-bits data width configuration). This is because it requires sixteen ECC bits, which can only be obtained using two ECC memory modules. However, it won’t work if you place both ECC modules in the same memory channel. Both memory channels must be active for Chipkill to work.

This BIOS feature controls the memory controller’s Chipkill functionality.

When enabled, the memory controller will use Chipkill to detect single-symbol and double-symbol errors, and correct single-symbol errors.

When disabled, the memory controller will not use Chipkill. Instead, it will perform standard ECC to detect single-bit and double-bit errors, and correct single-bit errors.

If you already spent so much money buying ECC memory and a motherboard that supports Chipkill, you should definitely enable this BIOS feature, because it offers a much greater level of data integrity than standard ECC.

You should only disable this BIOS feature if your system only uses a single ECC module.

 

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