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Alec Stanculescu, Fintronic USA Alex Zamfirescu, ASC MAPLD 2004 September 8-10, 2004 [email protected] [email protected] Design Verification Method for Radiation Hardness using Simulation Farms. Fintronic USA. Summary. Problem Addressed Solution Proposed Conclusion

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Alec Stanculescu, Fintronic USA

Alex Zamfirescu, ASC

MAPLD 2004

September 8-10, 2004

[email protected] [email protected]

Design Verification Method for

Radiation Hardness using

Simulation Farms


Fintronic USA


  • Problem Addressed

  • Solution Proposed

  • Conclusion

  • Proposed Plan


  • Circuits malfunction due to radiations

    • Transient errors may lead to Soft errors if an erroneous data is latched

    • Cumulative effects may lead to permanent ( hard) errors (total dose)

Problem addressed
Problem Addressed

  • Reduce the cost of assessing the behavior of very large circuits under different radiation conditions by providing fast feedback to circuit designers regarding:

    • statistics of faults

    • reliability

    • nature of degradation

Solution proposed
Solution Proposed

  • Simulate radiation effect by injecting faults in the simulation based on the radiation failure susceptibility of the library cells used

  • Use efficiently a simulation farm

  • Automate the analysis of results

Radiation failure susceptibility
Radiation Failure Susceptibility

  • For each cell, for each wire, record

    • <time window> <fault_info_triplet>+

  • <fault_info_triplet> ::=

    <p of a given fault-type occurring in the given window>,

    <type of fault>,

    <p of at most one fault of the given type occurring in the given window>;

    where p stands for probability

Creation of radiation failure susceptibility data
Creation of Radiation Failure Susceptibility Data

  • Calibration of Simulation

    • High correlation between simulation results and manufactured circuit

  • Calibration Methods

    • Test all cells at various radiation environments

Calibration methods
Calibration Methods

  • Fabricate all supported cells on tested chip – selection of tests may affect calibration

  • Use existing circuits for testing

  • Use an un-hardened version of the actual circuit

  • Use transistor susceptibility based on specific measurements

Finfarm verilog simulation farm
FinFarm:Verilog Simulation Farm

  • Enables one engineer to manage many simultaneous simulations

    • Network of computers

    • Farming methodology

    • Farming tools

  • Current farms use between 10 and more than 1000 licenses

Farming methodology
Farming Methodology

  • Un-partitioned circuits

    • small footprint & 64-bit simulation helps

  • Split stimulus

  • Simultaneous verification of alternative components

  • Program feedback-based verification

  • Farming tools
    Farming Tools

    • Perform automated

      • simulation launching

      • simulation queuing

      • collection & reporting of simulation results

      • collection & merging of code coverage results

    • Perform real-time monitoring

    • Perform programmed re-launching of simulations

    Finfarm usage
    FinFarm™ Usage

    • Regression Testing

    • Extensive Exploration of Design Space

      • Evaluation of Reusable IPs

      • Analysis of Design Trade-Offs: Power, Size, Speed and search for optimal solution using feedback loop

  • Radiation Hardening

  • Rad hard simulation
    Rad. Hard. Simulation

    • Describing effects on circuit by a given radiation environment, using VCD-F format (VCD fault format)

    • VCD-F Reader injects corresponding faults in simulation

    • Launching simultaneous simulations using simulation farm

    • Collecting and processing results

    Vcd f format
    VCD-F Format

    • VCD IEEE std 1364 results

    • VCD-F specifies random faults, i.e. values are replaced by:

      • Fault types

      • Randomization info

    Vcd f reader
    VCD-F Reader

    • VCD-F Reader injects faults in simulation.

    • Nature of faults: permanent, transient

    • Kind of faults: stuck at, bridging, cross talk, gate rupture, value toggle, timing, etc.

    Simulation launching
    Simulation Launching

    • Save simulations at various check points, just before inserting faults

    • Re-start simulation at latest checkpoint before the injected fault which caused errors

    • Launch simultaneous simulations on FinFarm™

    Collecting and processing results
    Collecting and Processing Results

    • Record results databases

    • Compare Results Databases

    • Isolate circuits containing at least one error, for detailed analysis

    • List of possible fault type

    • Produce reports

    Summary of solution
    Summary of Solution

    • Cells are measured once and results are stored in IEEE standard

    • Use Monte Carlo technique to establish radiation susceptibility of complex ICs using simulation

    • Fast feedback to designers

    • Major cost reduction

    Proposed plan
    Proposed Plan

    • Establish a radiation assessment lab

    • Create oversight task force

      • Government

      • Industry

      • Academia

    • Createstandards for describing

      • Radiation failure susceptibility of cells

      • Distribution of faults in circuits in time