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A new reliability-oriented place and route algorithm for SRAM-based FPGAs

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2 Author(s)
Sterpone, L. ; Dipt. di Autom. e Inf., Politecnico di Torino ; Violante, M.

The very high integration levels reached by VLSI technologies for SRAM-based field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) lead to high occurrence-rate of transient faults induced by single event upsets (SEUs) in FPGAs' configuration memory. Since the configuration memory defines which circuit an SRAM-based FPGA implements, any modification induced by SEUs may dramatically change the implemented circuit. When such devices are used in safety-critical applications, fault-tolerant techniques are needed to mitigate the effects of SEUs in FPGAs' configuration memory. In this paper, we analyze the effects induced by the SEUs in the configuration memory of SRAM-based FPGAs. The reported analysis outlines that SEUs in the FPGA's configuration memory are particularly critical since they are able to escape well-known fault masking techniques such as triple modular redundancy (TMR). We then present a reliability-oriented place and route algorithm that, coupled with TMR, is able to effectively mitigate the effects of the considered faults. The effectiveness of the new reliability-oriented place and route algorithm is demonstrated by extensive fault injection experiments showing that the capability of tolerating SEU effects in the FPGA's configuration memory increases up to 85 times with respect to a standard TMR design technique

Published in:

Computers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

June 2006

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