doi: 10.7873/DATE.2015.0959

ACSEM: Accuracy-Configurable Fast Soft Error Masking Analysis in Combinatorial Circuits

Florian Kriebel, Semeen Rehman, Duo Sun, Pau Vilimelis Aceituno, Muhammad Shafiquea and Jörg Henkel

Chair for Embedded Systems (CES), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany.


Small feature sizes and associated low-operating voltages have led to radiation-induced soft errors as a major source of unreliability in modern circuits. As not all errors propagate to the final output of a combinatorial circuit (e.g., because of logical masking effects), an analysis of the error masking characteristics is required to evaluate and enhance the quality of a reliable processor design. State-of-the-art gate-level soft error masking techniques require a significant amount of analysis time due to their inherent nature of parsing and analyzing the complete processor’s netlist, which may take up to several days. In this paper, we present a fast and Accuracy-Configurable Soft Error Masking analysis technique (ACSEM) that performs error probability analysis on parts of netlist within the user-provided masking accuracy range. To enable this, we theoretically derive the maximum number of steps in the netlist graph that has to be processed to reach the required masking accuracy level. This significantly reduces the analysis time by orders of magnitude compared to traditional state-of-the art approaches that process all logic gate paths in a given combinatorial circuit.

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