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A Theory for the Design of Soft-Error-Tolerant VLSI Circuits

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4 Author(s)
Savaria, Y. ; Ecole Polytechnic de Montréal, PQ,Canada ; Hayes, J. ; Rumin, N.C. ; Agarwal, V.K.

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.

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Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 1 )