Intel® Customer Scripts, or simply Cscripts, can be quite helpful in tandem with a debugger like SourcePoint™ when you’re trying to bring up a new Intel-based design. In fact, Intel Cscripts can let you know when there are certain problems in the hardware design and, to a certain extent, they can help debug the firmware. They’ll also help you diagnose catastrophic errors. And, just as importantly, they can give you some insight into those murky gray areas, those places in the system that are not working as they should, but the overall system seems to be working. Or mostly working.
Intel Cscripts have been used for years by Intel engineers to test, verify, characterize and debug the company’s silicon. Some years ago, Intel began making these scripts available to qualified system manufacturers to help them deliver their Intel-based products to market faster.
An Intel Cscript can be used in tandem with an Intel reference design to troubleshoot a new design. For example, a Cscript could gather data up to a certain point in the firmware and then, if you also have an Intel reference design available, you could gather the same data from the reference design and compare the two datasets. Of course, some deviations from the reference design might be intentional on your part, but others could be unexpected and these could be the source of a problem. For example, one type of Intel Cscript package, sysError, extracts and decodes all of the error registers for each Intel processor on your design. Comparing the contents of these registers during the boot up of a new design with the contents of the same registers on the Intel reference design can help a designer determine whether the boot up process is proceeding the way it should and whether the hardware being accessed is mostly functional.
In addition to sysError, Intel Cscripts are grouped into four specific categories and one other miscellaneous category. The specific Cscripts include: sysInfo, sysTopo, sysDump and error injection.
Of course, there’s a lot more to Intel Cscripts than what I can discuss in a blog, but that’s why we have an eBook on the subject in the eResources section of our website. Check it out here.