doi: 10.7873/DATE.2015.0342

A Methodology for Automated Design of Embedded Bit-flips Detectors in Post-Silicon Validation

Pouya Taatizadeha and Nicola Nicolicib

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada.


Post-silicon validation is concerned with detecting design errors that escape to silicon prototypes and need to be fixed before committing to high-volume manufacturing. Electrical errors are particularly difficult to catch during the pre-silicon phase because of the insufficient accuracy of device models, which is often traded-off against simulation time. This challenge is further aggravated by the rising number of voltage domains, especially if subtle errors are excited in unique electrical states. Since these electrically-induced subtle errors most commonly manifest in the logic domain as bit-flips, to the best of our knowledge there are no systematic methods to design embedded hardware monitors for generic logic blocks that can detect bitflips with low detection latency. Toward this goal, we propose a methodology that relies on design assertions that are ranked based on their potential to detect bit-flips and subsequently mapped into user-constrained embedded hardware monitors with the aim to increase bit-flip coverage estimate.

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