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Multiscale System Modeling of Single-Event-Induced Faults in Advanced Node Processors

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science

Cannon, Matthew J.; Rodrigues, Arun; Black, Dolores A.; Black, Jeff; Bustamante, Luis G.; Breeding, Matthew; Feinberg, Benjamin F.; Skoufis, Micahel; Quinn, Heather; Clark, Lawrence T.; Brunhaver, John S.; Barnaby, Hugh; McLain, Michael L.; Agarwal, Sapan A.; Marinella, Matthew J.

Integration-technology feature shrink increases computing-system susceptibility to single-event effects (SEE). While modeling SEE faults will be critical, an integrated processor's scope makes physically correct modeling computationally intractable. Without useful models, presilicon evaluation of fault-tolerance approaches becomes impossible. To incorporate accurate transistor-level effects at a system scope, we present a multiscale simulation framework. Charge collection at the 1) device level determines 2) circuit-level transient duration and state-upset likelihood. Circuit effects, in turn, impact 3) register-transfer-level architecture-state corruption visible at 4) the system level. Thus, the physically accurate effects of SEEs in large-scale systems, executed on a high-performance computing (HPC) simulator, could be used to drive cross-layer radiation hardening by design. We demonstrate the capabilities of this model with two case studies. First, we determine a D flip-flop's sensitivity at the transistor level on 14-nm FinFet technology, validating the model against published cross sections. Second, we track and estimate faults in a microprocessor without interlocked pipelined stages (MIPS) processor for Adams 90% worst case environment in an isotropic space environment.

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