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In this paper, a probabilistic compensation technique for minimizing the effect of transient errors effect is proposed. The focus is to develop a compensation technique for DSP applications in which exact error compensation is not necessary and end-to-end system level performance is degraded minimally as long as the impact of the ldquonoiserdquo injected into the system by the transient errors is minimized. The proposed technique, called checksum-based probabilistic compensation, uses real-number checksum codes for error detection and partial compensation. Traditional coding techniques need a code of distance three and relatively complex calculations for perfect error correction. Here, it is shown that a distance-two code can be used to perform probabilistic error compensation in linear systems with the objective of improving the signal-to-noise ratio in the presence of random transient errors. The goal is to have a technique with small power and area overhead and to perform compensation in real time with negligible latency. The proposed technique is comprehensive and can handle errors in the combinational circuitry and storage elements. Comparison against a system with no error correction shows that up to 13-dB SNR improvement is possible. The area, power, and timing overheads of the proposed technique are analyzed.