Title: Dynamic reconfiguration for management of radiation-induced faults in FPGAs

Authors: Maya Gokhale, Paul Graham, Michael Wirthlin, D. Eric Johnson, Nathaniel Rollins

Addresses: Los Alamos National Laboratory. ' Los Alamos National Laboratory. ' Brigham Young University. ' Brigham Young University. ' Brigham Young University

Abstract: This paper describes novel methods of exploiting the partial, dynamic reconfiguration capabilities of Xilinx Virtex V1000 FPGAs to manage Single-Event Upset (SEU) faults owing to radiation in space environments. The on-orbit fault detection scheme uses radiation-hardened reconfiguration controllers to continuously monitor the configuration bitstreams of nine Virtex FPGAs and to correct errors by partial, dynamic reconfiguration of the FPGAs while they continue to execute. To study the SEU impact on our signal processing applications, we use a novel fault injection technique to corrupt configuration bits, thereby simulating SEU faults. By using dynamic reconfiguration, we can run the corrupted designs directly on the FPGA hardware, giving many orders of magnitude speed-up over purely software techniques. The fault injection method has been validated against proton beam testing, showing 97.6% agreement. Our work highlights the benefits of dynamic reconfiguration for space-based reconfigurable computing.

Keywords: radiation effects; SEU; single-event upsets; FPGA; proton accelerators; half-latches; reconfigurable architectures; field programmable gate arrays; dynamic reconfiguration; space environments.

DOI: 10.1504/IJES.2006.010162

International Journal of Embedded Systems, 2006 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.28 - 38

Available online: 05 Jul 2006 *

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