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Analysis of Single Event Upsets Propagation at Register Transfer Level in Combinational and Sequential Circuits Based on Satisfiability Modulo Theories

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Analysis of Single Event Upsets Propagation at Register Transfer Level in Combinational and Sequential Circuits Based on Satisfiability Modulo Theories

Kazma, Ghaith (2017) Analysis of Single Event Upsets Propagation at Register Transfer Level in Combinational and Sequential Circuits Based on Satisfiability Modulo Theories. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The progressive scaling of semiconductor technologies has led to significant performance improvements in digital designs. However, ultra-deep sub-micron technologies have increased the vulnerability of VLSI designs to soft errors. In order to allow a cost-effective reliability aware design process, it is critical to assess soft error reliability parameters in early design stages. This thesis proposes a new technique to model, analyze and estimate the propagation of Single Event Upsets (SEUs) in combinational and sequential designs described at the Register Transfer Level (RTL) using Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT). The propagation of SEUs through RTL bit-vector constructs is modeled as a Satisfiability problem using the SMT theory of bit-vectors.

At first, for combinational designs, two different analysis techniques, concrete and abstract modeling, are used in order to investigate the efficiency and accuracy of a data type reduction technique for soft error analysis. To analyze the vulnerability of the combinational circuits, we compute the Soft Error Rate (SER), which is a summation of the propagation probabilities. Concrete modeling uses two versions of the design, one faulty and one fault-free, in order to analyze SEU propagation. Abstract modeling uses a data type reduction technique to evaluate the difference in performance and accuracy over the first method. Experimental results demonstrate that the loss in accuracy due to abstract modeling depends on the design behavior. However, abstract modeling allows to reduce processing time significantly.

Following this first approach, the methodology is then extended to model and analyze SEU propagation in sequential circuits at RTL. In order to estimate the vulnerability of sequential circuits to soft errors, the methodology must be adapted to represent state transitions. To do so, we present an approach that uses circuit unrolling. This approach uses multiple unrolled copies of the design to represent the various state transitions. The fault propagation is then analyzed through a certain number of states. Useful information regarding the vulnerability to SEUs of the sequential circuit can then be generated. The propagation probabilities can be computed from the SEU injection cycle to multiple subsequent cycles. These results are then used to estimate the circuit Soft Error Rate (SER). Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and the applicability of the proposed approach.

Finally, we present a new methodology to estimate digital circuit vulnerability to soft errors at Register Transfer Level (RTL). Single Event Upsets (SEUs) propagation through RTL bit-vector operations is modeled and analyzed using a different modeling approach based on Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMTs). The objective of this new approach is to improve the efficiency of the analysis. For instance, the bit-vector reduction operators and arithmetic operators were modeled in SMT to include the fault propagation properties. This approach uses only one copy of the design to do the analysis. This means that the fault propagation properties are embedded within the SMT equivalent of the RTL constructs themselves, and therefore does not require two-copies of the design to analyze. In order to illustrate the practical utilization of our work, we have analyzed different RTL combinational circuits. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed framework is faster than other comparable contemporary techniques. Moreover, it provides more accurate and detailed results of the circuit vulnerability allowing a more efficient applicability of fault tolerance techniques.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Electrical and Computer Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kazma, Ghaith
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A. Sc.
Program:Electrical and Computer Engineering
Date:April 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Ait Mohamed, Otmane and Savaria, Yvon
ID Code:982548
Deposited By: GHAITH KAZMA
Deposited On:09 Jun 2017 14:12
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:55
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