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In computing, an eFuse (electronic fuse) is a microscopic fuse put into a computer chip. This technology was invented by IBM in 2004[1] to allow for the dynamic real-time reprogramming of chips. In the abstract, computer logic is generally "etched" or "hard-wired" onto a chip and cannot be changed after the chip has finished being manufactured. By utilizing a set of eFuses, a chip manufacturer can allow for the circuits on a chip to change while it is in operation.[2]

Mechanism of action[edit]

eFuses can be made out of silicon or metal traces. In both cases, they work (blow) by electromigration, the phenomenon that electric flow causes the conductor material to move. Although electromigration is generally undesired in chip design as it causes failures, eFuses are made of weak traces that are designed to fail before others do.[3][4]


eFuses were initially marketed by IBM as a way to provide in-chip performance tuning. If certain sub-systems fail, or are taking too long to respond, or are consuming too much power, the chip can instantly change its behavior by blowing an eFUSE.[3][5][6] Today, most eFuses are used to etch serialization or calibration data onto a chip thus making it a read-only value.[7]

Descriptive term[edit]

eFuses are perhaps more commonly used as a one-time programmable ROM or write-restricted memory, and not actual physical electric fuses. This ranges from writing unique information onto CPUs,[4] or in the case of game consoles and other restricted hardware, preventing downgrades by permanently recording a newer version. The Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Pixel 6 and Samsung Galaxy S22 are known for using eFuses this way.[8]


eFuses used for performance adjustment or unique IDs:

eFuses known to be used for hardware restriction:


Resettable eFuses are used for protecting circuits. They act similarly to resettable fuses, and are generally shipped as a standalone chip package.[14]

There are several ways of implementing an antifuse in silicon: see Antifuse § Antifuses in integrated circuits.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IBM's eFuse technology portends adaptable chips".
  2. ^ DCC (1989-03-14). "Method and apparatus for causing an open circuit in a conductive line". Archived from the original on 2017-02-11.
  3. ^ a b c Smith, Tony. "IBM eFuse to yield self-repairing, self-regulating CPUs". The Register.
  4. ^ a b c "Examining metal eFuses". EETAsia. Archived from the original on 2021-06-14. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  5. ^ "IBM introduces chip morphing technology". IBM. 2004-07-30. Archived from the original on 2010-07-24. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
  6. ^ Port, Otis (2005-06-06). "Mighty Morphing Power Processors". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on May 29, 2005.
  7. ^ "Espressif ESP-IDF esp_mac.h". Espressif. 2023-06-08. Retrieved 2023-11-07.
  8. ^ Amadeo, Ron (2022-08-31). "Google gives developers a way to sidestep Android 13's one-way update". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2022-09-04.
  9. ^ Rizzolo, R. F.; Foote, T. G.; et al. (2007-02-13). "IBM System z9 eFUSE applications and methodology". IBM Journal of Research and Development. 51: 65–75. doi:10.1147/rd.511.0065. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
  10. ^ "Understanding the Xbox 360's Fusesets". Free60 Wiki.
  11. ^ Speedy22 (2006-03-07). "XBOX 360 CPU Datasheet. Version 1.5" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-03-15. Retrieved 2007-02-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "IBM delivers Power-based chip for Microsoft Xbox 360 worldwide launch". IBM. 2005-10-25. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
  13. ^ "What is a Knox Warranty Bit and how is it triggered?". docs.samsungknox.com.
  14. ^ "E-fuses". STMicroelectronics.