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Computing the Soft Error Rate of a Combinational Logic Circuit Using Parameterized Descriptors

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4 Author(s)
Rao, R.R. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI ; Chopra, K. ; Blaauw, D.T. ; Sylvester, D.M.

Soft errors have emerged as an important reliability challenge for nanoscale very large scale integration designs. In this paper, we present a fast and efficient soft error rate (SER) analysis methodology for combinational circuits. We first present a novel parametric waveform model based on the Weibull function to represent particle strikes at individual nodes in the circuit. We then describe the construction of the descriptor object that efficiently captures the correlation between the transient waveforms and their associated rate distribution functions. The proposed algorithm consists of operations to inject, propagate, and merge these descriptors while traversing forward along the gates in a circuit. The parameterized waveforms enable an efficient static approach to calculate the SER of a circuit. We exercise the proposed approach on a wide variety of combinational circuits and observe that our algorithm has linear runtime with the size of the circuit. The runtimes for soft error estimation were observed to be in the order of about 1 s, compared to several minutes or even hours for previously proposed methods

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 3 )