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Impact of Supply Voltage and Frequency on the Soft Error Rate of Logic Circuits

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9 Author(s)
Mahatme, N.N. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN, USA ; Gaspard, N.J. ; Jagannathan, S. ; Loveless, T.D.
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Alpha particle irradiations of 28-nm combinational logic and flip-flop circuits under different supply voltage and frequency operating conditions are investigated. Results indicate that while the supply voltage has a strong impact on the alpha particle soft error rate of flip-flops, the combinational logic error rate is relatively unaffected by supply voltage variation. Simulations are used to explain the results and highlight the differences between low-LET alpha particle irradiation and heavy-ion irradiation as far as voltage dependence of the logic soft error rate is concerned. Moreover, frequency has a much stronger impact on the logic soft error rate as compared to the flip-flop soft error rate. As a result, the frequency at which soft errors from combinational logic circuits will exceed errors from flip-flops decreases as the voltage increases. The impact of these observations is discussed in the context of soft-error mitigation strategies.

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 6 )