Skip to Main Content
Soft errors caused by ionizing radiation will be a limiting factor in the reliability of VLSI circuits with submicron-feature sizes. A new approach to the design of soft-error-tolerant digital integrated circuits'is presented. It is based on the filtering of transients at register inputs, and it incurs a lower area overhead than known techniques. The method, called soft-error filtering (SEF), is derived on the basis of the analogy between a noise-sensitive finite-state machine and a noisy communication channel. The necessary characteristics of the register are examined and a design is presented for the associated filter. It is shown that SEF can be used to reduce the associated error rate to insignificant levels.