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A novel on-chip test circuit to measure single-event transient (SET) pulse widths has been developed and implemented in IBM 130-nm and 90-nm processes for characterizing logic soft errors. Test measurements with heavy ions and alpha particles show transient widths ranging from 100 ps to over 1 ns, comparable to legitimate logic signals in such technologies. Design options to limit the SET pulse width and hence to mitigate soft errors are evaluated with the test circuit to demonstrate the effectiveness of such design techniques.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2009