Matching Items (12)

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Chip level implementation techniques for radiation hardened microprocessors

Description

Microprocessors are the processing heart of any digital system and are central to all the technological advancements of the age including space exploration and monitoring. The demands of space exploration require a special class of microprocessors called radiation hardened microprocessors

Microprocessors are the processing heart of any digital system and are central to all the technological advancements of the age including space exploration and monitoring. The demands of space exploration require a special class of microprocessors called radiation hardened microprocessors which are less susceptible to radiation present outside the earth's atmosphere, in other words their functioning is not disrupted even in presence of disruptive radiation. The presence of these particles forces the designers to come up with design techniques at circuit and chip levels to alleviate the errors which can be encountered in the functioning of microprocessors. Microprocessor evolution has been very rapid in terms of performance but the same cannot be said about its rad-hard counterpart. With the total data processing capability overall increasing rapidly, the clear lack of performance of the processors manifests as a bottleneck in any processing system. To design high performance rad-hard microprocessors designers have to overcome difficult design problems at various design stages i.e. Architecture, Synthesis, Floorplanning, Optimization, routing and analysis all the while maintaining circuit radiation hardness. The reference design `HERMES' is targeted at 90nm IBM G process and is expected to reach 500Mhz which is twice as fast any processor currently available. Chapter 1 talks about the mechanisms of radiation effects which cause upsets and degradation to the functioning of digital circuits. Chapter 2 gives a brief description of the components which are used in the design and are part of the consistent efforts at ASUVLSI lab culminating in this chip level implementation of the design. Chapter 3 explains the basic digital design ASIC flow and the changes made to it leading to a rad-hard specific ASIC flow used in implementing this chip. Chapter 4 talks about the triple mode redundant (TMR) specific flow which is used in the block implementation, delineating the challenges faced and the solutions proposed to make the flow work. Chapter 5 explains the challenges faced and solutions arrived at while using the top-level flow described in chapter 3. Chapter 6 puts together the results and analyzes the design in terms of basic integrated circuit design constraints.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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45-nm radiation hardened cache design

Description

Circuits on smaller technology nodes become more vulnerable to radiation-induced upset. Since this is a major problem for electronic circuits used in space applications, designers have a variety of solutions in hand. Radiation hardening by design (RHBD) is an approach,

Circuits on smaller technology nodes become more vulnerable to radiation-induced upset. Since this is a major problem for electronic circuits used in space applications, designers have a variety of solutions in hand. Radiation hardening by design (RHBD) is an approach, where electronic components are designed to work properly in certain radiation environments without the use of special fabrication processes. This work focuses on the cache design for a high performance microprocessor. The design tries to mitigate radiation effects like SEE, on a commercial foundry 45 nm SOI process. The design has been ported from a previously done cache design at the 90 nm process node. The cache design is a 16 KB, 4 way set associative, write-through design that uses a no-write allocate policy. The cache has been tested to write and read at above 2 GHz at VDD = 0.9 V. Interleaved layout, parity protection, dual redundancy, and checking circuits are used in the design to achieve radiation hardness. High speed is accomplished through the use of dynamic circuits and short wiring routes wherever possible. Gated clocks and optimized wire connections are used to reduce power. Structured methodology is used to build up the entire cache.

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Date Created
2012

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Radiation hardened clock design

Description

Clock generation and distribution are essential to CMOS microchips, providing synchronization to external devices and between internal sequential logic. Clocks in microprocessors are highly vulnerable to single event effects and designing reliable energy efficient clock networks for mission critical applications

Clock generation and distribution are essential to CMOS microchips, providing synchronization to external devices and between internal sequential logic. Clocks in microprocessors are highly vulnerable to single event effects and designing reliable energy efficient clock networks for mission critical applications is a major challenge. This dissertation studies the basics of radiation hardening, essentials of clock design and impact of particle strikes on clocks in detail and presents design techniques for hardening complete clock systems in digital ICs.

Since the sequential elements play a key role in deciding the robustness of any clocking strategy, hardened-by-design implementations of triple-mode redundant (TMR) pulse clocked latches and physical design methodologies for using TMR master-slave flip-flops in application specific ICs (ASICs) are proposed. A novel temporal pulse clocked latch design for low power radiation hardened applications is also proposed. Techniques for designing custom RHBD clock distribution networks (clock spines) and ASIC clock trees for a radiation hardened microprocessor using standard CAD tools are presented. A framework for analyzing the vulnerabilities of clock trees in general, and study the parameters that contribute the most to the tree’s failure, including impact on controlled latches is provided. This is then used to design an integrated temporally redundant clock tree and pulse clocked flip-flop based clocking scheme that is robust to single event transients (SETs) and single event upsets (SEUs). Subsequently, designing robust clock delay lines for use in double data rate (DDRx) memory applications is studied in detail. Several modules of the proposed radiation hardened all-digital delay locked loop are designed and studied. Many of the circuits proposed in this entire body of work have been implemented and tested on a standard low-power 90-nm process.

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Date Created
2015

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An innovative radiation hardened by design flip-flop

Description

Radiation hardening by design (RHBD) has become a necessary practice when creating circuits to operate within radiated environments. While employing RHBD techniques has tradeoffs between size, speed and power, novel designs help to minimize these penalties. Space radiation is the

Radiation hardening by design (RHBD) has become a necessary practice when creating circuits to operate within radiated environments. While employing RHBD techniques has tradeoffs between size, speed and power, novel designs help to minimize these penalties. Space radiation is the primary source of radiation errors in circuits and two types of single event effects, single event upsets (SEU), and single event transients (SET) are increasingly becoming a concern. While numerous methods currently exist to nullify SEUs and SETs, special consideration to the techniques of temporal hardening and interlocking are explored in this thesis. Temporal hardening mitigates both SETs and SEUs by spacing critical nodes through the use of delay elements, thus allowing collected charge to be removed. Interlocking creates redundant nodes to rectify charge collection on one single node. This thesis presents an innovative, temporally hardened D flip-flop (TFF). The TFF physical design is laid out in the 130 nm TSMC process in the form of an interleaved multi-bit cell and the circuitry necessary for the flip-flop to be hardened against SETs and SEUs is analyzed with simulations verifying these claims. Comparisons are made to an unhardened D flip-flop through speed, size, and power consumption depicting how the RHBD technique used increases all three over an unhardened flip-flop. Finally, the blocks from both the hardened and the unhardened flip-flops being placed in Synthesis and auto-place and route (APR) design flows are compared through size and speed to show the effects of using the high density multi-bit layout. Finally, the TFF presented in this thesis is compared to two other flip-flops, the majority voter temporal/DICE flip-flop (MTDFF) and the C-element temporal/DICE flip-flop (CTDFF). These circuits are built on the same 130 nm TSMC process as the TFF and then analyzed by the same methods through speed, size, and power consumption and compared to the TFF and unhardened flip-flops. Simulations are completed on the MTDFF and CTDFF to show their strengths against D node SETs and SEUs as well as their weakness against CLK node SETs. Results show that the TFF is faster and harder than both the MTDFF and CTDFF.

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Created

Date Created
2010

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Radiation hardened pulse based D flip flop design

Description

ABSTRACT The D flip flop acts as a sequencing element while designing any pipelined system. Radiation Hardening by Design (RHBD) allows hardened circuits to be fabricated on commercially available CMOS manufacturing process. Recently, single event transients (SET's) have become as

ABSTRACT The D flip flop acts as a sequencing element while designing any pipelined system. Radiation Hardening by Design (RHBD) allows hardened circuits to be fabricated on commercially available CMOS manufacturing process. Recently, single event transients (SET's) have become as important as single event upset (SEU) in radiation hardened high speed digital designs. A novel temporal pulse based RHBD flip-flop design is presented. Temporally delayed pulses produced by a radiation hardened pulse generator design samples the data in three redundant pulse latches. The proposed RHBD flip-flop has been statistically designed and fabricated on 90 nm TSMC LP process. Detailed simulations of the flip-flop operation in both normal and radiation environments are presented. Spatial separation of critical nodes for the physical design of the flip-flop is carried out for mitigating multi-node charge collection upsets. The proposed flip-flop is also used in commercial CAD flows for high performance chip designs. The proposed flip-flop is used in the design and auto-place-route (APR) of an advanced encryption system and the metrics analyzed.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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Fully automated radiation hardened by design circuit construction

Description

A fully automated logic design methodology for radiation hardened by design (RHBD) high speed logic using fine grained triple modular redundancy (TMR) is presented. The hardening techniques used in the cell library are described and evaluated, with a focus on

A fully automated logic design methodology for radiation hardened by design (RHBD) high speed logic using fine grained triple modular redundancy (TMR) is presented. The hardening techniques used in the cell library are described and evaluated, with a focus on both layout techniques that mitigate total ionizing dose (TID) and latchup issues and flip-flop designs that mitigate single event transient (SET) and single event upset (SEU) issues. The base TMR self-correcting master-slave flip-flop is described and compared to more traditional hardening techniques. Additional refinements are presented, including testability features that disable the self-correction to allow detection of manufacturing defects. The circuit approach is validated for hardness using both heavy ion and proton broad beam testing. For synthesis and auto place and route, the methodology and circuits leverage commercial logic design automation tools. These tools are glued together with custom CAD tools designed to enable easy conversion of standard single redundant hardware description language (HDL) files into hardened TMR circuitry. The flow allows hardening of any synthesizable logic at clock frequencies comparable to unhardened designs and supports standard low-power techniques, e.g. clock gating and supply voltage scaling.

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Date Created
2012

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Methodical design approaches to multiple node collection robustness for flip-flop soft error mitigation

Description

The space environment comprises cosmic ray particles, heavy ions and high energy electrons and protons. Microelectronic circuits used in space applications such as satellites and space stations are prone to upsets induced by these particles. With transistor dimensions shrinking due

The space environment comprises cosmic ray particles, heavy ions and high energy electrons and protons. Microelectronic circuits used in space applications such as satellites and space stations are prone to upsets induced by these particles. With transistor dimensions shrinking due to continued scaling, terrestrial integrated circuits are also increasingly susceptible to radiation upsets. Hence radiation hardening is a requirement for microelectronic circuits used in both space and terrestrial applications.

This work begins by exploring the different radiation hardened flip-flops that have been proposed in the literature and classifies them based on the different hardening techniques.

A reduced power delay element for the temporal hardening of sequential digital circuits is presented. The delay element single event transient tolerance is demonstrated by simulations using it in a radiation hardened by design master slave flip-flop (FF). Using the proposed delay element saves up to 25% total FF power at 50% activity factor. The delay element is used in the implementation of an 8-bit, 8051 designed in the TSMC 130 nm bulk CMOS.

A single impinging ionizing radiation particle is increasingly likely to upset multiple circuit nodes and produce logic transients that contribute to the soft error rate in most modern scaled process technologies. The design of flip-flops is made more difficult with increasing multi-node charge collection, which requires that charge storage and other sensitive nodes be separated so that one impinging radiation particle does not affect redundant nodes simultaneously. We describe a correct-by-construction design methodology to determine a-priori which hardened FF nodes must be separated, as well as a general interleaving scheme to achieve this separation. We apply the methodology to radiation hardened flip-flops and demonstrate optimal circuit physical organization for protection against multi-node charge collection.

Finally, the methodology is utilized to provide critical node separation for a new hardened flip-flop design that reduces the power and area by 31% and 35% respectively compared to a temporal FF with similar hardness. The hardness is verified and compared to other published designs via the proposed systematic simulation approach that comprehends multiple node charge collection and tests resiliency to upsets at all internal and input nodes. Comparison of the hardness, as measured by estimated upset cross-section, is made to other published designs. Additionally, the importance of specific circuit design aspects to achieving hardness is shown.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Post-silicon validation of radiation hardened microprocessor, embedded flash and test structures

Description

Digital systems are essential to the technological advancements in space exploration. Microprocessor and flash memory are the essential parts of such a digital system. Space exploration requires a special class of radiation hardened microprocessors and flash memories, which are not

Digital systems are essential to the technological advancements in space exploration. Microprocessor and flash memory are the essential parts of such a digital system. Space exploration requires a special class of radiation hardened microprocessors and flash memories, which are not functionally disrupted in the presence of radiation. The reference design ‘HERMES’ is a radiation-hardened microprocessor with performance comparable to commercially available designs. The reference design ‘eFlash’ is a prototype of soft-error hardened flash memory for configuring Xilinx FPGAs. These designs are manufactured using a foundry bulk CMOS 90-nm low standby power (LP) process. This thesis presents the post-silicon validation results of these designs.

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Created

Date Created
2016

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Small Form Factor Hybrid CMOS/GaN Buck Converters for 10W Point of Load Applications

Description

Point of Load (PoL) converters are important components to the power distribution system in computer power supplies as well as automotive, space, nuclear, and medical electronics. These converters often require high output current capability, low form factor, and high conversion

Point of Load (PoL) converters are important components to the power distribution system in computer power supplies as well as automotive, space, nuclear, and medical electronics. These converters often require high output current capability, low form factor, and high conversion ratios (step-down) without sacrificing converter efficiency. This work presents hybrid silicon/gallium nitride (CMOS/GaN) power converter architectures as a solution for high-current, small form-factor PoL converters. The presented topologies use discrete GaN power devices and CMOS integrated drivers and controller loop. The presented power converters operate in the tens of MHz range to reduce the form factor by reducing the size of the off-chip passive inductor and capacitor. Higher conversion ratio is achieved through a fast control loop and the use of GaN power devices that exhibit low parasitic gate capacitance and minimize pulse swallowing.

This work compares three discrete buck power converter architectures: single-stage, multi-phase with 2 phases, and stacked-interleaved, using components-off-the-shelf (COTS). Each of the implemented power converters achieves over 80% peak efficiency with switching speeds up-to 10MHz for high conversion ratio from 24V input to 5V output and maximum load current of 10A. The performance of the three architectures is compared in open loop and closed loop configurations with respect to efficiency, output voltage ripple, and power stage form factor.

Additionally, this work presents an integrated CMOS gate driver solution in CMOS 0.35um technology. The CMOS integrated circuit (IC) includes the gate driver and the closed loop controller for directly driving a single-stage GaN architecture. The designed IC efficiently drives the GaN devices up to 20MHz switching speeds. The presented controller technique uses voltage mode control with an innovative cascode driver architecture to allow a 3.3V CMOS devices to effectively drive GaN devices that require 5V gate signal swing. Furthermore, the designed power converter is expected to operate under 400MRad of total dose, thus enabling its use in high-radiation environments for the large hadron collider at CERN and nuclear facilities.

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Date Created
2018

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Development of Radiation Hardened High Voltage Super-Junction Power MOSFET

Description

In recent years, the Silicon Super-Junction (SJ) power metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), has garnered significant interest from spacecraft designers. This is due to their high breakdown voltage and low specific on-state resistance characteristics. Most of the previous research work

In recent years, the Silicon Super-Junction (SJ) power metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), has garnered significant interest from spacecraft designers. This is due to their high breakdown voltage and low specific on-state resistance characteristics. Most of the previous research work on power MOSFETS for space applications concentrated on improving the radiation tolerance of low to medium voltage (~ 300V) power MOSFETs. Therefore, understanding and improving the reliability of high voltage SJMOS for the harsh space radiation environment is an important endeavor.In this work, a 600V commercially available silicon planar gate SJMOS is used to study the SJ technology’s tolerance against total ionizing dose (TID) and destructive single event effects (SEE), such as, single event burnout (SEB) and single event gate rupture (SEGR). A technology computer aided design (TCAD) software tool is used to design the SJMOS and simulate its electrical characteristics.
Electrical characterization of SJMOS devices showed substantial decrease in threshold voltage and increase in leakage current due to TID. Therefore, as a solution to improve the TID tolerance, metal-nitride-oxide-semiconductor (MNOS) capacitors with different oxide
itride thickness combinations were fabricated and irradiated using a Co-60 gamma-source. Electrical characterization showed all samples with oxide
itride stack gate insulators exhibited significantly higher tolerance to irradiation when compared to metal-oxide-semiconductor capacitors.
Heavy ion testing of the SJMOS showed the device failed due to SEB and SEGR at 10% of maximum rated bias values. In this work, a 600V SJMOS structure is designed that is tolerant to both SEB and SEGR. In a SJMOS with planar gate, reducing the neck width improves the tolerance to SEGR but significantly changes the device electrical characteristics. The trench gate SJ device design is shown to overcome this problem. A buffer layer and larger P+-plug are added to the trench gate SJ power transistor to improve SEB tolerance. Using TCAD simulations, the proposed trench gate structure and the tested planar gate SJMOS are compared. The simulation results showed that the SEB and SEGR hardness in the proposed structure has improved by a factor of 10 and passes at the device’s maximum rated bias value with improved electrical performance.

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Date Created
2020