Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



A radiation strike on semiconductor device may lead to charge collection, which may manifest as a wrong logic level causing failure. Soft errors or Single Event Upsets (SEU) caused by radiation strikes are one of the main failure modes in a VLSI circuit. Previous work predicts that soft error rate may dominate the failure rate in VLSI circuit compared to all other failure modes put together. The issue of single event upsets (SEU) need to be addressed such that the failure rate of the chips dues to SEU is in the acceptable range. Memory circuits are designed to be error free with the help of error correction codes. Technology scaling is driving up the SEU rate of combinational logic and it is predicted that the soft error rate (SER) of combinational logic may dominate the SER of unpro-tected memory by the year 2011. Hence a robust combinational logic methodology must be designed for SEU hardening. Recent studies have also shown that clock distribution network is becoming increasingly vulnerable to radiation strike due to reduced capaci-tance at the clock leaf node. A strike on clock leaf node may propagate to many flip-flops increasing the system SER considerably. In this thesis we propose a novel method to improve the SER of the circuit by filtering single event upsets in the combinational logic and clock distribution network. Our ap-proach results in minimal circuit overhead and also requires minimal effort by the de-signer to implement the proposed method. In this thesis we focus on preventing the propagation of SEU rather than eliminating the SEU on each sensitive gate.


Metal oxide semiconductors, Complementary


University of New Mexico. Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Krishna, Sanjay

Second Committee Member

Graham, Edward Jr