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Impact of scaling on soft-error rates in commercial microprocessors

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3 Author(s)
N. Seifert ; Hewlett-Packard Corp., Shrewsbury, MA, USA ; Xiaowei Zhu ; L. W. Massengill

The impact of technology scaling and logic design on the α-particle and neutron-induced soft-error rate (SER) of Alpha microprocessors (HP Alpha Development Group, Shrewsbury, MA) has been investigated. Our results indicate that the reduced charge-collection efficiency at the device level as well as circuit- and system-level mitigation techniques have successfully combatted the scaling trend of the critical charge. Process scaling and the introduction of flip-chip packaging have resulted in a nonnegligible contribution of α-particle-induced failure rates to the core-logic SER, whose overall importance has increased considerably since the implementation of error-correction codes.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 6 )