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Architecture Design for Soft Errors by Shubu Mukherjee

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CHAPTER 3

Architectural Vulnerability Analysis

3.1 Overview

Chapter 2 examined device- and circuit-level techniques to model soft errors. This chapter discusses the concept of Architectural Vulnerability Factor (AVF) to model soft errors at the architectural level. AVF is the fraction of faults that show up as user-visible errors. The circuit- and device-level SERs need to be derated by the AVF to obtain the observed SERs of silicon chips. The higher the AVF of a bit, the higher is its vulnerability to cause soft errors. Hence, architects use AVFs to identify candidates to add error protection schemes.

The basic question that underlies the AVF computation is whether a particle strike on a bit matters. If a bit flip does not produce an incorrect ...

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