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As the size of integrated circuits has reached the nanoscale, embedded memories are more sensitive to single-event upsets (SEUs) or double-event upsets (DEUs), due to their low threshold voltage. In particular, reconfigurable systems, containing a large number of configuration memories to implement customer circuits, are more likely to suffer from soft errors caused by SEUs and DEUs. In this letter, we develop a Hamming code based error detection and correction (EDAC) circuit that can protect the configuration memory of a reconfigurable device from SEUs. Evaluation reveals that compared to the conventional triple modular redundancy (TMR) protected field-programmable gate array (FPGA) tile, the proposed EDAC protected FPGA tile shows about 2.3 times better dependability on the influence of DEUs. Moreover, as the FPGA array size increases, the dependability advantage of EDAC increases exponentially. The main drawback of EDAC is that it has about 1.6 times greater area overhead than TMR.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2011