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Configurable Fault-Tolerance for a Configurable VLIW Processor

  • Fakhar Anjam
  • Stephan Wong
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7806)

Abstract

This paper presents the design and implementation of configurable fault-tolerance techniques for a configurable VLIW processor. The processor can be configured for 2, 4, or 8 issue-slots with different types of execution functional units (FUs), and its instruction set architecture (ISA) is based on the VEX ISA. Separate techniques are employed to protect different modules of the processor from single event upsets (SEU) errors. Parity checking is utilized to detect errors in the instruction and data memories and the general register file (GR), while triple modular redundancy (TMR) approach is employed for all the synchronous flip-flops (FFs). At design-time, a user can choose between the standard non fault-tolerant design, a fault-tolerant design where the fault tolerance is permanently enabled, and a fault-tolerant design where the fault tolerance can be enabled and disabled at run-time. These options enable a user to trade-off between hardware resources, performance, and power consumption. A simulation based technique is utilized for testing purposes. The processor is implemented in a Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA as well as synthesized to a 90 nm ASIC technology. Compared to the permanently enabled fault-tolerance, in scenarios, where fault-tolerance is not required at some point in time, considerable power savings (up to 25.93% for the FPGA and 70.22% for the ASIC) can be achieved by disabling the fault-tolerance at run-time.

Keywords

Softcore VLIW processor SEU error Configurable fault-tolerance 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fakhar Anjam
    • 1
  • Stephan Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Engineering LaboratoryDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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