MARS-S: Modeling and Reduction of Soft Errors in Sequential Circuits

Natasa Miskov-Zivanov and Diana Marculescu
Carnegie Mellon University


Due to the shrinking of feature size and reduction in supply voltages, nanoscale circuits have become more susceptible to radiation induced transient faults. In this paper, we use a symbolic framework based on BDDs and ADDs that enables analysis of sequential circuit reliability from different aspects: output susceptibility to error, influence of individual gates on individual outputs and overall circuit reliability, and the dependence of circuit reliability on glitch duration, amplitude, and input patterns. This is demonstrated by the set of experimental results, which show that soft error rate (SER) can vary from less than 7×10e-5 FIT, for large circuits and small glitches, to about 10e-3 FIT for very small circuits and large enough glitches. The framework can be used for selective gate sizing targeting radiation hardening which is done only for gates with error impact exceeding a certain threshold. Using such a technique SER can be reduced by 80% for various threshold values, when applied to a subset of ISCAS’89 benchmarks.