Guilty As Charged: Computational Reliability Threats Posed by Electrostatic Discharge-induced Soft Errors

Keven Feng, Sandeep Vora, Rui Jiang, Elyse Rosenbaum, Shobha Vasudevan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) has been shown to cause severe reliability hazards at the physical level, resulting in permanent and transient errors. We present the first analysis of the effects of ESD-induced errors on instruction-level computation. Our data were measured on a microcontroller test chip fabricated for this study, with discharges from a controlled ESD gun. cosmic-ray-induced soft errors have been widely researched, and modeled as single event upsets (SEUs). Our observations across multiple trials on 3 test chips show that in contrast to radiation-induced errors, ESD can cause much more widespread errors than SEUs. In our trials, we observed system hangs and clock glitches which are serious errors. We also observed errors in the following categories: multiple-bit corruptions across multiple registers, multiple-bit corruptions in the same register, and single-bit corruptions across multiple registers. At the instruction level, these errors manifest as system hangs or serious malfunctioning of I/O operations, interrupt operations, and data/program memory. We demonstrate that ESD-induced errors form a significant reliability threat to higher-level functionality, warranting modeling and mitigation techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages156-161
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783981926323
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2019
Event22nd Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019 - Florence, Italy
Duration: Mar 25 2019Mar 29 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019

Conference

Conference22nd Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019
CountryItaly
CityFlorence
Period3/25/193/29/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Control and Optimization

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  • Cite this

    Feng, K., Vora, S., Jiang, R., Rosenbaum, E., & Vasudevan, S. (2019). Guilty As Charged: Computational Reliability Threats Posed by Electrostatic Discharge-induced Soft Errors. In Proceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019 (pp. 156-161). [8715149] (Proceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.23919/DATE.2019.8715149