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Fault Simulation and Emulation Tools to Augment Radiation-Hardness Assurance Testing

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4 Author(s)
Heather M. Quinn ; Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA ; Dolores A. Black ; William H. Robinson ; Stephen P. Buchner

As of 2013, the gold standard for assessing radiation-hardness assurance (RHA) for a system, subsystem, or a component is accelerated radiation testing and/or pulsed laser testing. Fault injection tools, which include both fault simulation and emulation tools, have become more common in the last 15 years. Fault simulation tools use analytical methods for assessing RHA, whereas fault emulation uses hardware methods. Both fault simulation and emulation allow designers to augment traditional RHA techniques to determine whether circuit designs, microarchitectures, components, and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) meet the requirements for a particular mission. Fault simulation and emulation can provide the designers the luxury of testing on the benchtop without the time and financial constraints of accelerated radiation testing. This paper explores how to design, implement, and validate a fault simulation or emulation system. The paper ends with several case studies of currently used fault simulation and emulation systems.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 3 )