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In this paper, the alpha-particle induced soft error rate of two flip-flops are investigated as a function of operating frequency between 80 MHz and 1.2 GHz. The two flip-flops-an unhardened D flip-flop and a hardened pseudo-DICE flip-flop were designed in a TSMC 40 nm bulk CMOS technology. The error rates of both flip-flops increase with frequency. Analyses show that an internal single-event transient based upset mechanism is responsible for the frequency dependence of the error rates.