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On Area and Yield Considerations for Fault-Tolerant VLSI Processor Arrays

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2 Author(s)
Koren, I. ; Computer Science Division, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720; Department of Electrical Engineering, Technion¿Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000), Israel. ; Breuer, M.A.

Fault-tolerance is undoubtedly a desirable property of any processor array. However, increased design and implementation costs should be expected when fault-tolerance is being introduced into the architecture of a processor array. When the processor array is implemented within a single VLSI chip, these cost increases are directly related to the chip silicon area. Thus, the increase in area should be weighed against the improved performance of the gracefully degrading fault-tolerant processor array. In addition, a larger chip area might reduce the wafer yield to an unaceptable level making the use of fault-tolerant VLSI processor arrays impractical. The objective of this paper is to devise performance measures for the evaluation of the effectiveness and area utilization of various fault-tolerant techniques. Another goal is to analyze the reduction in wafer yield and investigate the possibility of yield enhancement through redundancy.

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Computers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:C-33 ,  Issue: 1 )