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Sequential Element Design With Built-In Soft Error Resilience

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9 Author(s)

This paper presents a built-in soft error resilience (BISER) technique for correcting radiation-induced soft errors in latches and flip-flops. The presented error-correcting latch and flip-flop designs are power efficient, introduce minimal speed penalty, and employ reuse of on-chip scan design-for-testability and design-for-debug resources to minimize area overheads. Circuit simulations using a sub-90-nm technology show that the presented designs achieve more than a 20-fold reduction in cell-level soft error rate (SER). Fault injection experiments conducted on a microprocessor model further demonstrate that chip-level SER improvement is tunable by selective placement of the presented error-correcting designs. When coupled with error correction code to protect in-pipeline memories, the BISER flip-flop design improves chip-level SER by 10 times over an unprotected pipeline with the flip-flops contributing an extra 7-10.5% in power. When only soft errors in flips-flops are considered, the BISER technique improves chip-level SER by 10 times with an increased power of 10.3%. The error correction mechanism is configurable (i.e., can be turned on or off) which enables the use of the presented techniques for designs that can target multiple applications with a wide range of reliability requirements

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 12 )