Selective Check of Data-Path for Effective Fault Tolerance


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E96-D   No.8   pp.1592-1601
Publication Date: 2013/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E96.D.1592
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Reconfigurable Systems)
Category: Design Methodology
low power,  fault-tolerant computing,  FU array,  

Full Text: PDF>>
Buy this Article

Nowadays, fault tolerance has been playing a progressively important role in covering increasing soft/hard error rates in electronic devices that accompany the advances of process technologies. Research shows that wear-out faults have a gradual onset, starting with a timing fault and then eventually leading to a permanent fault. Error detection is thus a required function to maintain execution correctness. Currently, however, many highly dependable methods to cover permanent faults are commonly over-designed by using very frequent checking, due to lack of awareness of the fault possibility in circuits used for the pending executions. In this research, to address the over-checking problem, we introduce a metric for permanent defects, as operation defective probability (ODP), to quantitatively instruct the check operations being placed only at critical positions. By using this selective checking approach, we can achieve a near-100% dependability by having about 53% less check operations, as compared to the ideal reliable method, which performs exhaustive checks to guarantee a zero-error propagation. By this means, we are able to reduce 21.7% power consumption by avoiding the non-critical checking inside the over-designed approach.