Reconfigurable Field Programmable Gate Arrays: Failure Modes and Analysis

  • Niccolò BattezzatiEmail author
  • Luca Sterpone
  • Massimo Violante


Nowadays, electronic devices are used in a huge number of applications, from entertainment market to military equipment, from personal computing to large-scale business frameworks, from mobile phones to satellites and space probes. Each application has its own requirements and constraints, each of which weight in a different fashion depending on the specifications of the mission to be fulfilled. One particular kind of applications is the one called mission critical. Mission-critical applications are usually characterized by the involvement of a huge amount of money that could be suddenly lost if something goes wrong. This is the case of satellites, for example, that cannot be repaired nor returned for maintenance if some part stops working. This is also the case of bank applications where an error during a transaction could cause the loss or stealing of huge sums of money.


Field Programmable Gate Array Linear Energy Transfer Fault Injection Logic Block Memory Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    M. Alderighi, F. Casini, M. Citterio, S. D’Angelo, M. Mancini, S. Pastore, G.R. Sechi, and G. Sorrenti, Using flipper to predict proton irradiation results for virtex 2 devices: A case study, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science 56 (2009), no. 4, 2103–2110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    M. Alderighi, F. Casini, S. D’Angelo, M. Mancini, S. Pastore, and G.R. Sechi, Evaluation of single event upset mitigation schemes for sram based fpgas using the flipper fault injection platform, Defect and Fault-Tolerance in VLSI Systems, 2007. DFT ’07. Proceedings of the 22nd IEEE International Symposium on Rome, 2007, pp. 105–113.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    M. Alderighi, F. Casini, S. D’Angelo, M. Mancini, S. Pastore, L. Sterpone, and M. Violante, Soft errors in sram-fpgas: A comparison of two complementary approaches, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science 55 (2008), no. 4, 2267–2273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. Benso and P. Prinetto, Fault injection techniques and tools for embedded systems reliability evaluation, Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2003.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. Boue, P. Petillon, and Y. Crouzet, Mefisto-l: A vhdl-based fault injection tool for the experimental assessment of fault tolerance, Fault-Tolerant Computing, 1998. Digest of Papers. Proceedings of the 28th Annual International Symposium on, Washington, DC 1998, pp. 168–173.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    M. Caffrey, K. Morgan, D. Roussel-Dupre, S. Robinson, A. Nelson, A. Salazar, M. Wirthlin, W. Howes, and D. Richins, On-orbit flight results from the reconfigurable cibola flight experiment satellite (cfesat), Field Programmable Custom Computing Machines. FCCM ’09 Proceedings of the 17th IEEE Symposium on, Piscataway, 2009, pp. 3–10.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    M. Ceschia, M. Bellato, A. Paccagnella, and A. Kaminski, Ion beam testing of altera apex fpgas, Radiation Effects Data Workshop, 2002 IEEE, Piscataway, 2002, pp. 45–50.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    T.A. Delong, B.W. Johnson, and III Profeta, J.A., A fault injection technique for vhdl behavioral-level models, Design Test of Computers, IEEE 13 (1996), no. 4, 24–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    R.D. Schrimpf and D.M. Fleetwood, Radiation effects and soft errors in integrated circuits and electronic devices, World Scientific, Hoboken, NJ, 2004.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    E. Fuller, M. Caffrey, P. Blain, C. Carmichael, N. Khalsa, and A. Salazar, Radiation test results of the virtex fpga and zbt sram for space based reconfigurable computing, Military and Aerospace Programmable Logic Devices (MAPLD) Conference, Washington, DC, 1999.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mei-Chen Hsueh, T.K. Tsai, and R.K. Iyer, Fault injection techniques and tools, IEEE Computer 30 (1997), no. 4, 75–82.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    A. Lesea, S. Drimer, J.J. Fabula, C. Carmichael, and P. Alfke, The rosetta experiment: Atmospheric soft error rate testing in differing technology fpgas, IEEE Transactions on Device and Materials Reliability 5 (2005), no. 3, 317–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Austin Lesea, Continuing experiments of atmospheric neutron effects on deep submicron integrated circuits, Tech. report, Xilinx, 2009.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    T.P. Ma and P.V. Dressendorfer, Ionizing radiation effects in mos devices and circuits, Wiley, New York, NY 1989.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    H. Quinn, P. Graham, J. Krone, M. Caffrey, and S. Rezgui, Radiation-induced multi-bit upsets in sram-based fpgas, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science 52 (2005), no. 6, 2455–2461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    H. Quinn, P. Graham, K. Morgan, J. Krone, and M. Caffrey, Fpga testing and trends, Presented at SERESSA school, West Palm Beach, FL 2008.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    S. Rezgui, J.J. Wang, E.C. Tung, B. Cronquist, and J. McCollum, Comprehensive see characterization of 0.13 μ m flash-based fpgas by heavy ion beam test, Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Radiation and Its Effects on Components and Systems, Deauville 2007, pp. 1–6.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    L. Sterpone and M. Violante, A new analytical approach to estimate the effects of seus in tmr architectures implemented through sram-based fpgas, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science 52 (2005), no. 6, 2217–2223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    L. Sterpone and M. Violante, A new reliability-oriented place and route algorithm for sram-based fpgas, IEEE Transactions on Computers 55 (2006), no. 6, 732–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    L. Sterpone, M. Violante, R.H. Sorensen, D. Merodio, F. Sturesson, R. Weigand, and S. Mattsson, Experimental validation of a tool for predicting the effects of soft errors in sram-based fpgas, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science 54 (2007), no. 6, 2576–2583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    R. Velazco, P. Fouillat, and R. Reis, Radiation effects on embedded systems, Springer, Dordrecht 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    James F. Ziegler, Ser-history, trends and challenges, Cypress, San Jose, 2004.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niccolò Battezzati
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luca Sterpone
    • 2
  • Massimo Violante
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipto. Automatica e InformaticaPolitecnico di TorinoTorinoItaly
  2. 2.Politecnico di TorinoTorinoItaly

Personalised recommendations