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Circuits

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Manuscript ID TETN-2019-0351

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04-Apr-2019

Author:

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Complete List of Authors: Beg, Azam; UAE University, College of Information Technology

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Note: The following files were submitted by the author for peer review, but cannot be converted to PDF.

You must view these files (e.g. movies) online.

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2019_04_05_reliability_IJE_R1.tex

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April 4, 2019 International Journal of Electronics 2019˙04˙05˙reliability˙IJE˙R1

Page 1 of 20 International Journal of Electronics / International Journal of Electronics Letters

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3 To appear in the International Journal of Electronics

4 Vol. 00, No. 00, Month 20XX, 1–20

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13 Accurate Calculation of Unreliability

14 of CMOS Logic Cells and Circuits

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16 Azam Beg∗

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18 College of Information Technology, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, UAE

19 (v0.0 released Month 201x)

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Modern decananometer-sized MOS transistors tend to exhibit high rates of failure, underscoring

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the need for accurately estimating the unreliabilities of circuits built from such transistors. This

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paper presents a methodology for unreliability calculation that extends from individual transistors

24 to complete logic circuits. As a logic cell’s or logic circuit’s unreliability is highly dependent on

25 its transistors’ drain-source and gate-source voltages, SPICE simulations are used to determine

26 the voltages for the individual transistors. The voltage measurements are then utilized by the

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mathematical equations to predict the unreliabilities with high accuracy. A scalable framework

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based on the proposed methodology has been successfully implemented. The framework has been

28 validated using ISCAS85 benchmark circuits.

29

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31 optimization, Digital circuits, Digital simulation, Failure analysis, Fault tolerance, Logic gates,

32 Logic circuits, Mathematical models, MOS integrated circuits, Probability, Reliability,

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33

34

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36 Acronyms

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38 BN Bayesian network

39 CAD Computer-aided design

40 CMOS Complementary metal oxide semiconductor

41 DIBL Drain-induced barrier lowering

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43 FDSOI Fully-depleted silicon on insulator

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FinFET Fin field effect transistor

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46

MOS Metal oxide semiconductor

47 NAND Logic gate implementing inverted AND

48 nMOS N-type metal oxide semiconductor

49 NOR Logic gate implementing inverted OR

50 pMOS P-type metal oxide semiconductor

51 PDF Probability density function

52 RAM Random access memory

53 SRAM Static random access memory

54 XOR Logic gate implementing exclusive OR

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56

57 ∗ Corresponding author. Email: abeg@uaeu.ac.ae

58

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

April 4, 2019 International Journal of Electronics 2019˙04˙05˙reliability˙IJE˙R1

International Journal of Electronics / International Journal of Electronics Letters Page 2 of 20

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5 Notations

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7 µVth Average of Vth variations

8 σVth Standard deviation of Vth variations

9 τd Time delay

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Υtr Unreliability

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CL Load capacitance

13 f Frequency

14 ID Drain current

15 L Channel length

16 Leff Effective channel length

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17 Ndep Channel doping concentration at depletion edge

18 tox Oxide thickness

19 VDD Supply voltage

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20 VGS Gate-source voltage

21 Vth Threshold voltage

22 W Channel width

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26

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27 1. Introduction

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29 The sizes of MOS transistors have continued to decrease continuously for nearly four

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30 decades now. Recently, the transistor dimensions have approached 10 nm. The scaling

31 down of a transistor’s channel length (L) is accompanied by the reductions in oxide thick-

32 ness (Tox ), doping concentrations, and the depths of source and drain junctions. The sup-

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33 ply voltage (VDD ) has also been lowered. As L dropped, the transport time for the carri-

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ers from the drain to the source also reduced while increasing the drain current (ID ) in

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the on-state (ION ). Therefore an increase in performance is witnessed, i.e., 1/τd , where

37 τd ≈ CL VDD /ION , and CL is the load capacitance. On the downside, thinner Tox has re-

sulted in increased off-current (IOFF ). The energy barrier for the carriers in the channel

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39 is now controlled not just by gate-source voltage (VGS ) but also by drain-source voltage

40 (VDS ) – an effect known as drain-induced barrier lowering (DIBL) [Rabaey, Chandrakasan,

41 and Nikolic (2004)].

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42 Multiple factors that have caused modern MOS transistors to operate unreliably, include:

43 (a) hot carrier injection, i.e., charge carriers getting trapped in a transistor’s gate [Hu et

44 al. (1985)]; (b) negative-bias temperature instability which increases threshold voltage

45 (Vth ) and decreases ID and transconductance [Schroder and Babcock (2003)]; (c) time-

46 dependent dielectric breakdown due to low electric field application for a long time-period

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[McPherson (2012)]; and (d) radiation-inflicted damage [Simoen et al. (2013)]. These phe-

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nomena manifest into temporal variations of ID , Vth , sub-Vth swing, low-frequency (1/f )

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50 noise [Kirton and Uren (1989)] and trap-assisted tunneling [Ghetti et al. (2000)]. Addition-

51 ally, performance degradation in an unreliable transistor can be observed as hysteresis in

52 the ID -VGS plots.

53 Redundancy is the most prevalent technique for reducing a system’s or a circuit’s unre-

54 liability. The common types of redundancy include space, time, and information [Moore

55 and Shannon (1956); von Neumann (1952); Winograd and Cowan (1963)]. Digital circuits

56 can utilize low or high-level redundancy, von Neumann multiplexing [Bhaduri, Shukla,

57 Graham, and Gokhale (2005)], or parallel restitution [Sadek, Nikoli, and Forshaw (2003)].

58 Obviously, circuit redundancy is costly in terms of area and power consumption. In com-

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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5 parison, time-redundancy is a lower-cost option and is effective in finding and rectifying

6 most transient faults and some permanent faults. Information redundancy utilizes coding

7 and corrects the errors that occur during transmission and retrieval, albeit at the cost of

8 additional hardware [Dubrova (2013)]. Markov Random Field, an alternative solution to

9 the redundancy, offers higher reliability, better error-handling and lower area cost [Anwer,

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Shaukat, Khalid, and Hamid (2012)].

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1.1. Finding Unreliability

15 A logic gate (or a logic cell) may fail due to an external factor such as crosstalk, radiation

16 or thermal noise [Krishnaswamy, Plaza, Markov, and Hayes (2009)] or due to a factor

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17 internal to the gate [Chen and Mao (2008)]. The gate’s malfunction could also be due to

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the failure(s) of one or more of its inputs. Using a Von Neumann model for gate errors,

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a gate can independently exhibit an output flip (1 → 0 or 0 → 1) with equal probability

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21 (named Von Neumann error) [J. von Neumann (1956)].

22 It is highly desirable to accurately estimate the unreliabilities of transistors and gates in

23 order the find the unreliability of complete circuits. Monte Carlo simulations are one way of

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24 estimating the unreliability, however, the simulations carry a hefty time cost. Alternatively,

25 mathematical models, which can be several orders of magnitude faster than the simulations,

26 are used. The unreliability of a circuit Υcirc can be estimated by these equations [Nikolic,

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29 Υgate = 1 − (1 − Υtr )n (1)

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30

γ

31 Υcirc = 1 − (1 − Υgate ) (2)

32

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33 where the circuit contains γ gates, each gate contains n transistors, the unreliability of the

34 transistors in the gates is denoted by Υtr , and the unreliability of the gates in the circuit

35 by Υgate . Eqs. 1 and 2 assume that all transistors have the same Υ and all gates have the

36 same number of transistors. One way of improving the equations would be to consider: (a)

37 transistor-counts ni of N different types/sizes and their respective unreliabilities Υntr,i

i

, and

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38 γj

(b) gate-counts γj of G different types and their respective unreliabilities Υgate,j . There-

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40 fore, the improved equations would be:

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N −1

42 Y

43 Υgate,i = 1 − (1 − Υtr,i )ni (3)

44 i=0

45 G−1

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46 Υcirc = 1 − (1 − Υgate,j )γj (4)

47 j=0

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49 Even Eqs. 3 and 4 have some drawbacks, which significantly affect the individual

50 Υgate,i ’s and hence the Υcirc . Specifically, the equations ignore the effects of input and

51 gate voltage levels, gates’ own topologies, and overall circuit’s configuration.

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54 1.2. About This Paper

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56 This paper introduces an comprehensive methodology for the accurate determination of the

57 Υgate ’s and Υcirc ’s. This improved methodology, which relies on a hybrid of mathematical

58 equations and simulations, considers:

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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5 (1) Υ of every transistor, as determined by its physical dimensions, drain-source voltage

6 (VDS ), and gate-source voltage (VGS ),

7 (2) Υ of every gate, as determined by its topology (transistor count and connections)

8 and input voltages (noise margins and logic values), and

9 (3) circuit’s overall topology (gate count and connections), input voltages and input Υ’s.

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11 Section 2 presents literature review. Section 3 covers how individual transistor-Υ’s are

12 used to determine the Υ’s of combinations of transistors. Section 4 demonstrates how

13 transistor-Υ’s are utilized to calculate logic cell-Υ’s. Section 5 details the derivation of

14 logic circuit-Υ’s using logic cell-Υ’s. Section 6 discusses the algorithm and the framework

15 for the proposed methodology. Section 7 presents the results of the experiments performed

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on individual logic cells and different benchmark circuits. Lastly, Section 8 concludes the

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paper.

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2. Literature Review

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24 Over the years, many articles have covered the topics of reliability tools and methods, such

25 as Gielen et al. (2008); Jeng, Lu, and Wang (2007); Xiao and Chen (2014). Some pertinent

26 works related to MOS transistors, logic gates/cells and logic circuits are given below.

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27 An early study of the effects of variations in MOS transistor doping was conducted by

28 Keyes (1994). This was followed by the presentation of a dopant variation model by Stolk,

29 Widdershoven, and Klaassen (1998). In recent years, Asenov, Amoroso, and Gerrer (2014);

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30 Asenov et al. (2015) performed extensive simulations to look into the influence of quantum

31 mechanical effects on Vth -variations in MOS transistors.

32 An investigation into the effect of variations in transistor dimensions and Ndep in an

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33 inverter, was done by Khalid, Mastrandrea, and Olivieri (2014c). Analytical and semi-

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analytical methods were used for finding an inverter’s ‘safe areas of operation’ while being

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subjected to input voltage and Vth variations in Khalid, Mastrandrea, and Olivieri (2014b).

37 The estimation of failures due to single-event upsets by done by Khalid, Mastrandrea, Ab-

bas, and Olivieri (2015). Huard et al. (2010) proposed a reliability-driven workflow for

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39 designing SRAM cells; the workflow considered the effects of degradation and ageing.

40 Later, Esqueda and Barnaby (2013) proposed a defect-based transistor model and used it

41 to study the aging effects in SRAM cells. Modeling of statistical variations and aging of a

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42 6-T RAM cell was done by Hussin et al. (2015). The influences of aging and process varia-

43 tions on flip-flops were investigated by Khalid, Mastrandrea, and Olivieri (2014a). The use

44 of static noise margin as a representation of reliability of different logic cells was done by

45 Beg (2014). Recently, mathematical equations have been utilized for calculating the failure

46 rates of simple logic cells by Beg (2016).

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A few tools and techniques addressing the reliability of complete logic circuits include:

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Symbolic Hierarchical Automated Reliability and Performance Evaluator [Sahner and

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50 Trivedi (1987)], Probabilistic Symbolic Model Checker [Kwiatkowska, Norman, Parker,

51 and Segala (1999)], probabilistic transfer matrices [Patel, Hayes, and Markov (2003)],

52 Proxel-based method [Lazarova-Molnar (2005)], probabilistic gate models [Jie Han et al.

53 (2005)], and Bayesian networks (BNs) [Rejimon and Bhanja (2005)]. A BN-based tool

54 helped investigate the relationship of reliability and circuit-topology [Beg and Ibrahim

55 (2009); Ibrahim, Beg, and Amer (2008)]. The effect of input vectors on circuit reliability

56 was covered by Ibrahim, Shousha, and Chinneck (2015).

57 It is important to note that although the actual voltages for transistors significantly affect

58 the gate/cell and circuit reliabilities, none of the aforementioned works incorporates the

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

April 4, 2019 International Journal of Electronics 2019˙04˙05˙reliability˙IJE˙R1

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5 voltages in reliability calculations. In order to address this significant shortcoming, our pa-

6 per presents a time-efficient, mathematical-cum-simulation-based approach for accurately

7 calculating the Υ’s of not just the individual transistors and gates, but also for complete

8 logic circuits (see Table 1 for feature comparison).

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3. Unreliability of Transistors

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14 A MOS transistor’s probabilistic behavior is determined by (a) the type (nMOS or pMOS),

15 (b) the dimensions (width W and channel length L), and (c) the gate voltage [Gupta,

16 Kahng, Sharma, and Sylvester (2006)]. The lack of uniformity in the doping level of a

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17 transistor causes its Vth to vary. σVth can be estimated by [Asenov, Brown, Davies, Kaya,

18 and Slavcheva (2003)]:

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20 0.4

tox Ndep

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21 σVth ≈ 3.19 × 10 p , (5)

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Leff Weff

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24 where Leff and Weff are the effective channel length and width, respectively. Ndep is the

25 channel doping concentration at depletion edge for zero body bias. (Eq. 5 was based on

26 the atomistic simulations of transistors having: Leff = 30 nm to 100 nm, Weff = 50 nm to

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27 500 nm, Ndep = 1 × 1018 cm−3 to 5 × 1018 cm−3 , and tox = 1 nm to 6 nm [Asenov et al.

28 (2003)].

29 In this work, the switching probability of failure of a MOS transistor represents Υ, and

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30 as is defined as a probability density function (PDF). The Υ/PDF depends not only on its

31 µVth and σVth but also on the level of the input voltage [Beiu, Beg, Ibrahim, Kharbash, and

32 Alioto (2013)]:

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34 exp −(VGS − Vth )2 /2σV2 th )

35 Υ = PDF (VGS ) = √ (6)

36 σV th 2π

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It is to be noted that Eqs. 5 and 6 address only the VGS , sizing and manufacturing-related

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39 properties of transistors (Ndep and tox ), and not the degradation or any other temporal

40 effects – hence the latter two are outside the scope of this work.

41 Consider n transistors that have their Υ’s specified by Υtr,i . If the transistors are con-

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44 n−1

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45 Υseries = 1 − (1 − Υtr,i ), (7)

46 i=0

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48 and if the transistors are connected in parallel, their combined Υ would be [Dubrova

49 (2013)]:

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51 n−1

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52 Υparallel = Υtr,i . (8)

53 i=0

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55 Stated simply, Eq. 7 implies that the transistors when placed in series have worse over-

56 all Υ than their individual Υ’s, which in turn are driven by their respective input (gate)

57 voltages. Similarly, from Eq. 8, we see that a parallel combination of transistors exhibits

58 improved Υ depending on the individual transistors’ Υ’s. For series or parallel transistors,

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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April 4, 2019

Input vectors

Methodology Space complexity Time complexity VDD consid- margin

considered

ered considered

International Journal of Electronics

O(1) O(1) No No No

(2001)]

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Gate-level reliability analysis [Xiao and Chen (2014)] O(N ) O(N · 2Nin +N ) Yes Yes Yes

Monte Carlo simulations [Xiao and Chen (2014)] O(N ) O(N · NMC ) Yes Yes Yes

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Probabilistic model checking [Mohyuddin, Pakbaznia,

O(2Nin +Nout ) O(N · 2Nin +N ) No No No

and Pedram (2008)]

2019˙04˙05˙reliability˙IJE˙R1

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Probability transfer matrix [Beg (2012)] O(2Nin +Nout ) O(N ) No No Yes

Probabilistic gate model [Xiao and Chen (2014)] O(2Nin +Nout ) O(N · 2Nin +N ) No No Yes

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Stochastic computation model [Han et al. (2014)] O(N · NSCM ) O(N · NSCM ) No No No

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Bayesian networks [Ibrahim et al. (2015)] Unknown Unknown No No Yes

This work O(N ) O(N · log(N )) Yes Yes Yes

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Note that:

N is the number of gates.

Nin is the number of circuit inputs. (PTMs’ severe limitation is Nin < 50, due to space complexity).

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Nout is the number of circuit outputs.

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Required Monte Carlo simulations NMC ≈ (1/RC − 1) × 10−6 , where RC is relative error of reliability.

International Journal of Electronics / International Journal of Electronics Letters

Page 6 of 20

April 4, 2019 International Journal of Electronics 2019˙04˙05˙reliability˙IJE˙R1

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(a) (b)

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Figure 1. The schematics for gates: (a) NOR2 and (b) XOR2.

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the effects of input vectors (gate voltages) are accounted for in Υ-calculation (see Eq. 6).

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As an example, a NOR2 gate with an input vector of ‘01’ would exhibit a different Υ than

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28 with an input vector of ‘11’.

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31 4. Unreliability of Logic Cells

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33 In a CMOS gate or cell, the set of pMOS transistors is commonly referred to as a P-stack

34 and the set of nMOS transistors as an N-stack. To simplify the Υ-modeling process, the

35 equations for the two stacks are found separately, and then the cells’ overall Υ is found

36 [Beg (2016)].

37 In a NOR2 gate (Figure 1a), the pMOS transistors are in series and nMOS transistors in

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38 parallel. By using eqs. 7 and 8, one can find the Υ’s for the P-stack (Υsp ) and the N-stack

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(Υsn ):

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Υsp = 1 − (1 − Υp1 ) × (1 − Υp2 )

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42 (9)

43 Υsn = Υn1 × Υn2 (10)

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45 A gate’s overall Υ is then represented by:

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Υgate = 1 − (1 − Υsp ) × (1 − Υsn ) (11)

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50 An XOR2 gate (Figure 1b) is not as ‘symmetric’ as a NOR2 (or a NAND2) gate, be-

51 cause each stack in the former has both parallel and series combinations of transistors. By

52 considering the Υ’s of sets of parallel and series transistors, one gets:

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54

h i h i

Υsp = 1 −(1 − Υp1 )(1 − Υp2 ) × 1 −(1 − Υp3 )(1 − Υp4 ) (12)

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h i h i

Υsn = 1 −(1 − Υn1 )(1 − Υn2 ) × 1 −(1 − Υn3 )(1 − Υn4 ) (13)

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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32 Lastly, the presented methodology is applied to a full adder cell (see Figure 2). The Υ’s

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33 for the two P-stacks, one for Cout and the other for Sum, are derived separately:

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35 h i

36 Υsp1 = 1 − 1 − Υp1 Υp2 ×

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h i

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1 − 1 − (1 − Υp3 )(1 − Υp4 ) Υp5 (14)

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h i

Υsp2 = 1 − 1 − Υp6 Υp7 Υp8 ×

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42 h i

43 1 − Υp9 1 − (1 − Υp10 )(1 − Υp11 )(1 − Υp12 ) (15)

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46 The Υ’s for the two N-stacks, one for Cout and the other for Sum, are derived as follows:

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48 h i

49 Υsn1 = 1 − (1 − Υn1 )(1 − Υn2 Υn3 ) ×

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51 1 − 1 − Υn4 )(1 − Υn5 ) (16)

52 h i

53 Υsn2 = 1 − (1 − Υn6 )(1 − Υn7 Υn8 Υn9 ) ×

54 h i

55 1 − (1 − Υn10 )(1 − Υn11 )(1 − Υn12 ) (17)

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58 The stack Υ’s are combined in order to find the Υ of the carry-out (Υcout ) and the sum

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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5 (Υsum ) outputs, which in turn give the full circuit’s Υ:

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8 Υcout = 1 − (1 − Υsp1 )(1 − Υsn1 ) (18)

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10 Υsum0 = 1 − (1 − Υsp2 )(1 − Υsn2 ) (19)

11 Υsum = 1 − (1 − Υcout )(1 − Υsum0 ) (20)

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Note that in a logic cell, the dependence of its transistor-Υ’s on their respective VGS ’s

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16 (as given by Eq. 6), would yield different values of Υser ’s and/or Υpar ’s for different input

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17 vectors. This implies that in order to find the worst-case Υ of a logic cell, one has to

18 consider all possible input combinations.

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5. Unreliability of Logic Circuits

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25 As it was pointed out earlier, one should take into account the gates’ individual Υ’s as well

26

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as the overall circuit’s topology, for finding the Υ of a logic circuit. Other factors, such

27 as the supply voltage and the input noise margin (maximum allowed voltage for logic-‘0’,

28 and minimum allowed voltage for logic-‘1’) should also be taken into account.

29

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Here, the process of circuit-Υ calculation is elucidated using the ISCAS85 c17 bench-

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mark circuit (Figure 3). Assume input-N 1 has ΥN 1 , input-N 2 has ΥN 2 , and so on. Also

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32 assume ΥNAND2 00 is NAND2’s Υ with input ‘00’, ΥNAND2 01 is Υ with input ‘01’, and

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33 so on. For a circuit with logic inputs ‘01010’, one can find the Υ’s for the circuit gates, as

34 following:

35

36

37 ΥG1 out =1 − (1 − ΥN 1 ) × (1 − ΥN 3 ) × (1 − ΥNAND2 00 )

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= ΥN 1 + ΥN 3 + ΥNAND2 00

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40 − ΥN 1 × ΥN 3

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− ΥN 1 × ΥNAND2 00

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43 − ΥN 3 × ΥNAND2 00

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45 + ΥN 1 × ΥN 3 × ΥNAND2 00 (21)

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50 ΥG2 out =1 − (1 − ΥN 3 ) × (1 − ΥN 4 ) × (1 − ΥNAND2 01 )

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52 = ΥN 3 + ΥN 4 + ΥNAND2 01

53 − ΥN 3 × ΥN 4

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55 − ΥN 3 × ΥNAND2 01

56 − ΥN 4 × ΥNAND2 01

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58 + ΥN 3 × ΥN 4 × ΥNAND2 01 (22)

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International Journal of Electronics / International Journal of Electronics Letters Page 10 of 20

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5 ΥG3 out =1 − (1 − ΥN 2 ) × (1 − ΥG2 out ) × (1 − ΥNAND2 11 )

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7 = ΥN 2 + ΥG2 out + ΥNAND2 11

8 − ΥN 2 × ΥG2 out

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10 − ΥN 2 × ΥNAND2 11

11 − ΥG2 out × ΥNAND2 11

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13 + ΥN 2 × ΥG2 out × ΥNAND2 11 (23)

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16 ΥG4 out =1 − (1 − ΥN 5 ) × (1 − ΥG2 out ) × (1 − ΥNAND2 10 )

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18 = ΥN 5 + ΥG2 out + ΥNAND2 10

19 − ΥN 5 × ΥG2 out

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21 − ΥN 5 × ΥNAND2 10

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− ΥG2 out × ΥNAND2 10

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29 = ΥG3 out + ΥG4 out + ΥNAND2 01

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− ΥG3 out × ΥG4 out

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32 − ΥG3 out × ΥNAND2 01

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34 − ΥG4 out × ΥNAND2 01

35 + ΥG3 out × ΥG4 out × ΥNAND2 01 (25)

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37

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ΥG6 out =1 − (1 − ΥG1 out ) × (1 − ΥG4 out ) × (1 − ΥNAND2 11 )

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40 = ΥG1 out + ΥG4 out + ΥNAND2 11

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− ΥG1 out × ΥG4 out

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43 − ΥG1 out × ΥNAND2 11

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45 − ΥG4 out × ΥNAND2 11

46 + ΥG1 out × ΥG4 out × ΥNAND2 11 (26)

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50 6. Circuit Unreliability Algorithm and Framework

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52 Our implementation of the framework for automatically finding any logic circuit’s Υ is

53 based on the algorithm given in Listing 1. The first module of the framework reads in

54 Verilog-based circuit descriptions and creates sets of corresponding SPICE netlists. Each

55 possible set of constant/DC input-voltages gets its own customized netlist. It is noteworthy

56 that the use of constant voltages ensures speedy SPICE simulations. Relevant commands

57 for measuring all net voltages are included in the netlists. The second module executes

58 SPICE simulations and saves the results to log files. The files are then parsed in order to

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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5 1 mark all gateUnRel’s as ’unknown’

6 2 assign input unRels to gates fed only by inputs

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9 6 if (all netUnRels for a gate’s inputs >= 0) {

10 7 use gate’s input voltages and VDD to find gate’s transistors’ VDSs and VGSs (

11 use SPICE)

12 8

13 9 use gate’s transistors’ VDSs and VGSs to find all transistors’ unRel’s (use Eq

. 6)

14 10

15 11 use gate’s transistors’ UnRels and all the input netUnRel’s to find gate’s

16 UnRel (use Eqs. 7-8)

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17 12

assign gate’s UnRel to gate-output’s net (netUnRel)

18 13

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19 save gate’s output voltage

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20 16

21 17 remove the gate from the list of unknown gateUnRel’s

22 18 }

else {

23 19

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24 21 }

25 22 }

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28 Listing 1 The algorithm for finding a logic circuit’s unreliability

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extract the values of net voltages for the transistors in different gate/cells (see Listing 1 and

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2); these voltages (along with transistor dimensions) to determine the transistor Υ’s. The

34 third module uses transistor Υ’s to calculate the gate/cell-Υ’s. The last module computes

35 the circuit’s Υ while considering its overall topology. The outputs of multi-output circuits

36 result in different Υ’s, the maximum of which represents the circuit’s worst-case Υ.

37 An additional advantage of our method is that it enables the studies of effects of

On

38 VDD -variations, input/static noise margin and input vectors, on the unreliability; such ad-

39 vantages are only selectively offered by other methods, as shown in Table 1.

40 Furthermore, Table 1 includes the space and time-complexities of different methods.

41 Space complexity of our method is O(N ) driven only by gate count N , which is compa-

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42 rable to or significantly better than other methods. Our method’s time complexity depends

43 both on N and a search algorithm (‘merge sort’), therefore the complexity is O(N ·log(N ))

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– a considerable improvement over most other methods.

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58 Figure 3. The schematic for ISCAS85 c17 benchmark circuit.

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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5 7. Experiments and Discussion

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7 7.1. Setup

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9 In this paper, our experiments rely on SPICE circuits built from the 22 nm PTM HP v2.1

10 (high-k/metal gate and stress effect) MOS transistor models [Predictive Technology Model

11 (2016)] and the BSIM4v4.7 level 54 model [Berkeley Short-channel IGFET Model (2013)].

12 The PTM model specifies the nominal Vth ’s of 0.503 V and −0.461 V, for the nMOS

13 and the pMOS transistors (µVthn0 and µVthp0 ), respectively. The nominal operating voltage

14 (VDD ) is 0.8 V [Predictive Technology Model (2016)]. Furthermore, the SPICE circuits

15 have L = Lmin = 22 nm and nMOS widths Wni = 44 nm. The pMOS widths Wpi

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range from 44 nm to 300 nm. With a noise margin of 30% at nominal VDD , we have

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Vin low = 0.3 × VDD , and Vin high = 0.7 × VDD .

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7.2. Unreliability of Logic Gates/Cells

22 Figure 4a shows a contour plot representing log10 (Υ)’s for 225 different combinations of

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Wp and VDD for a NOR2 gate. Similarly, Figures 4b and 4c show the plots for an XOR2

24 gate and a full-adder cell, respectively.

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From the Υ-viewpoint, for a NOR2 gate, near-Vth operation is favored. At the same

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time, large Wp ’s seem desirable. Similarly, the XOR2 yields low Υ’s at near-Vth values,

28 however, a limited range for Wp looks feasible. The full-adder cell exhibits low Υ’s at

29 nominal VDD and large Wp ’s.

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30 Practically speaking, a circuit designer must consider not just Υ but also the traditional

31 metrics, such as, power, delay, power-delay-product (PDP) and energy-delay-product

32 (EDP). Therefore, based on the overall design goals, the designer has to find some op-

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33 timum values for Wp ’s and VDD for a given gate/cell. This work is limited to the modeling

34 of Υ’s for gates and logic circuits; the ones interested in the overall optimization (including,

35 Υ, delay, power, etc.) are referred to our soon-to-be-published work (in DemSET 2019).

36

37

On

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40 Our unreliability framework has been used to evaluate the Υ’s of a few ISCAS85 bench-

41 mark circuits. Tables 2–5 list the circuit compositions, the Υ’s using three different meth-

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42 ods: (1) Nikolic et al. (2001), (2) Ibrahim et al. (2008), and (3) proposed/this work. The

43 evaluation times using for the proposed method are also included.

44 Table 2 shows the Υ’s for two cones of the c17 benchmark circuit (Figure 3) constituting

45 six NAND2 gates. For five inputs, there are 32 different input vectors, from which the

46 vector ’01010’ yields the worst (highest) Υ. The Υ’s for the two output cones are: ΥN 22 =

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1.60 × 10−4 and ΥN 23 = 1.28 × 10−4 .

48

Table 3 shows the Υ’s for all different logic cones of the c5315 benchmark circuit.

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50 Among all the cones, the largest number of inputs is 18 and the largest gate count is 56. The

51 circuit-Υ’s take a hit when the number of gates increase. Nearly two orders of magnitude

52 difference in Υ’s is observed between the smallest and the largest cones. It would make

53 sense to fortify the cone with the worst Υ in order to optimally improve whole circuit’s Υ.

54 Table 4 lists the logic cones of the c6288 benchmark circuit and the corresponding Υ’s.

55 The maximum input count among the cones is 18 and the largest gate count is 339. The

56 dominant gate type is NOR2. The larger cones tend to have worse Υ than the smaller ones.

57 It can be observed that 10× as many gates in a cone result in 10× higher Υ.

58 In Table 5, given are gate counts and Υ’s for all cones c7552 benchmark circuit. The

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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28 Figure 4. Gate/cell-Υ’s (log10 -scaled) as functions of Wp and VDD : (a) NOR2, (b) XOR2,

29 and (c) 1-bit full adder.

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31 cones are composed of a variety of gate types. The maximum number of inputs is 20 and

32 the largest gate count is 80. The Υ’s for the cones vary widely. As observed earlier, larger

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gate counts result in higher Υ’s.

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35

Generally, upsizing the gates in a circuit improves the Υ. However, across-the-board

36 gate-upsizing can significantly and adversely affect other parameters such as power and

37 energy. After identifying the high-Υ cones, a circuit designer can selectively upsize the

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39 Going back to Tables 2–5, we see that the largest circuit cone (of 339 gates) belongs to

40 the c6288 benchmark circuit; in this case, the evaluation time was nearly 12 minutes (on a

41 Mac OSX machine). The circuits with thousands of gates are expected to run proportionally

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42 longer but are still expected to stay within reasonable and practical limits.

43 Once again, referring back to Tables 2–5, we make the following observations about the

44 three methods, (1) Nikolic et al. (2001), (2) Ibrahim et al. (2008), and (3) proposed/this

45 work: (a) as expected, the larger the circuit, the higher the Υ’s calculated using the three

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methods; (b) there are significant positive correlations between the Υ’s calculated using

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this work and method-1 and method-2, as shown in Table 6; (c) method-1 is incognizant of

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input voltage levels, gate topology, and circuit topology, and predicts 2–4.6× higher Υ than

50 this work; and (d) method-2 is incognizant of input voltage levels and gate topology, and

51 predicts 1.2–2.8× higher Υ than this work; the Υ-gap is narrower as the circuit topology

52 is considered both by method-2 and this work.

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54

55 8. Conclusions

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57 This paper has presented a comprehensive methodology and a framework for determining

58 the unreliabilities of logic circuits. The methodology and the framework are expected to be

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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April 4, 2019

Table 2. ISCAS85 c17 benchmark circuit cone configurations (input count and gate count), Υcirc ’s based on two existing methods and this work, and

the evaluation time t (seconds) for this work.

Output Input Υcirc Υcirc Υcirc t

Cone Count INVs ANDs NANDs ORs NORs [Nikolic et al. (2001)] [Ibrahim et al. (2008)] This work [s]

N22 4 0 0 4 0 0 4.02 × 10−4 1.10 × 10−4 1.60 × 10−4 2.1

International Journal of Electronics

Table 3. ISCAS85 c5315 benchmark circuit cone configurations (input count and gate count), Υcirc ’s based on two existing methods and this work,

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and the evaluation time t (seconds) for this work.

Output Input Υcirc Υcirc Υcirc t

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Cone Count INVs ANDs NANDs ORs NORs [Nikolic et al. (2001)] [Ibrahim et al. (2008)] This work [s]

N2060 2 2 1 0 0 0 1.40 × 10−4 7.01 × 10−5 7.85 × 10−5 1.3

2019˙04˙05˙reliability˙IJE˙R1

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N4272 5 3 4 0 1 0 4.40 × 10−4 1.09 × 10−4 2.23 × 10−4 6.2

N4275 5 3 4 0 1 0 4.40 × 10−4 1.09 × 10−4 2.23 × 10−4 6.5

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N4278 5 3 4 0 1 0 4.40 × 10−4 1.09 × 10−4 2.25 × 10−4 6.6

N4279 4 3 4 0 1 0 4.40 × 10−4 1.06 × 10−4 1.98 × 10−4 6.2

N4737 6 3 6 0 1 0 5.60 × 10−4 1.68 × 10−4 4.29 × 10−4 9.1

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N4738 6 3 6 0 1 0 5.60 × 10−4 1.68 × 10−4 4.25 × 10−4 9.3

N4739 6 3 6 0 1 0 5.60 × 10−4 1.68 × 10−4 4.29 × 10−4 9.1

N4740 6 3 6 0 1 0 5.60 × 10−4 1.68 × 10−4 4.16 × 10−4 8.9

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N6716 9 17 4 19 0 2 3.02 × 10−3 1.22 × 10−3 1.43 × 10−3 62.0

N6877 10 18 4 22 0 2 3.35 × 10−3 1.38 × 10−3 1.64 × 10−3 68.1

N7015 9 9 7 3 3 0 1.32 × 10−3 3.66 × 10−4 6.87 × 10−4 27.9

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N7363 14 16 13 6 6 0 2.50 × 10−3 4.59 × 10−4 1.00 × 10−3 57.1

N7365 12 15 10 6 4 0 2.12 × 10−3 4.30 × 10−4 8.09 × 10−4 49.6

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N7466 17 16 17 12 7 0 3.41 × 10−3 4.87 × 10−4 1.50 × 10−3 77.1

International Journal of Electronics / International Journal of Electronics Letters

N7472 18 19 18 12 7 0 3.59 × 10−3 5.06 × 10−4 1.39 × 10−3 85.5

N7473 15 17 14 9 6 0 2.90 × 10−3 4.76 × 10−4 1.17 × 10−3 67.5

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Table 4. ISCAS85 c6288 benchmark circuit cone configurations (input count and gate count), Υcirc ’s based on two existing methods and this work,

and the evaluation time t (seconds) for this work.

Output Input Υcirc Υcirc Υcirc t

Cone Count INVs ANDs NANDs ORs NORs [Nikolic et al. (2001)] [Ibrahim et al. (2008)] This work [s]

N1581 4 2 2 0 0 6 8.00 × 10−4 3.17 × 10−4 3.20 × 10−4 9.2

International Journal of Electronics

N2223 8 6 9 0 0 39 4.67 × 10−3 1.23 × 10−3 1.68 × 10−3 81.7

N2548 10 8 14 0 0 69 8.03 × 10−3 1.84 × 10−3 2.70 × 10−3 160.4

N2877 12 10 20 0 0 108 1.23 × 10−2 2.50 × 10−3 4.05 × 10−3 268.4

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N3211 14 12 27 0 0 156 1.75 × 10−2 3.19 × 10−3 5.86 × 10−3 393.9

N3552 16 14 35 0 0 213 2.37 × 10−2 3.89 × 10−3 7.94 × 10−3 581.6

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N3895 18 16 44 0 0 279 3.07 × 10−2 4.60 × 10−3 1.08 × 10−2 772.0

2019˙04˙05˙reliability˙IJE˙R1

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Table 5. ISCAS85 c7522 benchmark circuit cone configurations (input count and gate count), Υcirc ’s based on two existing methods and this work,

and the evaluation time t (seconds) for this work.

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Output Input Υcirc Υcirc Υcirc t

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Cone Count INVs ANDs NANDs ORs NORs [Nikolic et al. (2001)] [Ibrahim et al. (2008)] This work [s]

N881 2 2 0 1 0 0 8.00 × 10−5 6.01 × 10−5 8.17 × 10−5 1.2

N1113 3 1 1 1 0 0 1.20 × 10−4 6.51 × 10−5 1.00 × 10−4 1.3

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N1489 3 2 2 0 0 0 1.60 × 10−4 8.51 × 10−5 1.18 × 10−4 2.1

N1781 2 0 1 0 0 0 6.00 × 10−5 6.01 × 10−5 8.09 × 10−5 0.1

N10025 5 9 4 6 2 0 7.80 × 10−4 5.28 × 10−4 7.15 × 10−4 25

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N10109 17 22 20 18 7 0 2.78 × 10−3 1.00 × 10−3 1.92 × 10−3 107.9

N10110 14 18 16 15 6 0 2.28 × 10−3 9.07 × 10−4 1.58 × 10−3 85.3

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N10111 11 15 12 12 5 0 1.80 × 10−3 8.20 × 10−4 1.37 × 10−3 65.1

International Journal of Electronics / International Journal of Electronics Letters

N10353 20 25 27 18 10 0 3.43 × 10−3 1.07 × 10−3 2.22 × 10−3 130.2

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International Journal of Electronics / International Journal of Electronics Letters Page 16 of 20

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5 Table 6. Correlation among predicted Υcirc ’s for three benchmark circuits, using different

6 methods: (1) Nikolic et al. (2001), (2) Ibrahim et al. (2008), and (3) this work.

7

8 Correlation between methods

9 (1) and (2) (1) and (3)

10 c5315 0.74 0.87

11 c6288 0.89 0.88

12 c7552 0.88 0.87

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15 useful additions to a circuit designer’s tool set. The usefulness of the methodology has been

16 demonstrated using a few benchmark circuits. Although the methodology partly relies on

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17 simulations, their time-overhead is minimized by using constant/DC input voltages. Con-

18 sequently, the methodology is scalable and applicable to circuits with thousands of gates,

19 built from not just conventional MOS transistors but also newer technologies, such as Fin-

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FETs, FDSOI, etc. Unlike some of the existing techniques for determining reliability that

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22

require use of costly commercial CAD tools (for example, Synopsys-TCAD or Cadence),

23 our method can be implemented using open-source tools (for example, Octave for building

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24 equations, and NGSPICE for SPICE simulations). The methodology and the framework

25 are expected to be useful additions to a circuit designer’s tool set.

26 The following are a few areas of investigation for enhancing the utility of the presented

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27 methodology:

28

• For large circuits, it may not be time-feasible to simulate all possible input vectors.

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30 So one should look into a method for finding a minimal set of test-vectors which

31 would sufficiently evaluate the Υcirc ’s.

32 • It would be worthwhile to find whether the use of only one or two primitive gate

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34 • Knowing which gate-types are better-suited for masking the failures, can reduce the

35 Υcirc ’s.

36 • As the circuit depth affects a circuit’s performance and energy, it would be beneficial

37 to study the relationship of the depth and the Υcirc .

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41 9. Appendix

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43 SPICE netlist for measuring the power and delay of a NAND2 gate is given in Listing 2.

44 The ‘included’ 22 nm MOS transistor models (‘22nm hp’) can be found in [Predictive

45 Technology Model (2016)]. The simulation results of the netlist are shown in Listing 3.

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48

10. Acknowledgment

49

50

51 This work is supported by the UAE University’s UPAR 2016 grant.

52

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54 References

55

56 Anwer, J., Shaukat, S., Khalid, U., & Hamid, N. (2012, Jun). Reliable area index: A novel approach

57 to measure reliability of Markov Random Field based circuits. In 4th int. conf. intell. adv.

58 syst. (pp. 851–853). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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5 1 * -- NAND2 gate node voltage measurement --

6 2 .include ./22nm_HP.pm

7 3 .param

8 4 +wpmos0 = 88nm

5 +wpmos1 = 88nm

9 6 +wnmos0 = 44nm

10 7 +wnmos1 = 44nm

11 8 +lpmos0 = 22nm

12 9 +lnmos0 = 22nm

13 10 +wpmos = 352nm

11 +lpmos = 22nm

14 12 +wnmos = 176nm

15 13 +lnmos = 22nm

16 14

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17 15 * -- Supplies --

vdd vdd 0 0.4

18 16

17 vddLoad vddLoad 0 0.4

19 vss vss 0 0

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20 19

21 20 * -- Stimuli --

22 21 vin1 in1 0 0.4

vin2 in2 0 0.0

23 22

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24 24 * -- UUT --

25 25 MP1 out in1 vdd vdd pmos w=wpmos0 l=lpmos0

26

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27 27 MN1 out in1 w1 vss nmos w=wnmos0 l=lnmos0

MN2 w1 in2 vss vss nmos w=wnmos1 l=lnmos0

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29

29

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30 * -- Load --

30 31 xld2 out outLoad vddLoad vss inv; 4x-sized

31 32

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34

35 .meas tran p1vgs find par(’v(in1)-v(vdd)’) at=0.4

34 36 .meas tran p2vgs find par(’v(in2)-v(vdd)’) at=0.4

35 37 .meas tran p1vds find par(’v(out)-v(vdd)’) at=0.4

36 38 .meas tran p2vds find par(’v(out)-v(vdd)’) at=0.4

37 39 .meas tran n1vgs find par(’v(in1)-v(w1)’) at=0.4

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38 41 .meas tran n1vds find par(’v(out)-v(w1)’) at=0.4

39 42 .meas tran n2vds find par(’v(w1)-v(vss)’) at=0.4

40 43

41 44 * -- INV subcircuit --

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46 M10 output input vdd vdd pmos w=wpmos l=lpmos

43 47 M20 output input vss vss nmos w=wnmos l=lnmos

44 48 .ends inv

45

46 Listing 2 SPICE netlist for measuring node voltages in a NAND2 gate.

47

48

49 Asenov, A., Amoroso, S. M., & Gerrer, L. (2014, Sep). Progress in the simulation of time dependent

50 statistical variability in nano CMOS transistors. In 2014 int. conf. simul. semicond. process.

51 devices (pp. 273–276). Yokohama, Japan.

52 Asenov, A., Brown, A. R., Davies, J. H., Kaya, S., & Slavcheva, G. (2003). Simulation of intrin-

53 sic parameter fluctuations in decananometer and nanometer-scale MOSFETs. IEEE Trans.

54 Electron Devices, 50(9), 1837–1852.

55 Asenov, A., Ding, J., Reid, D., Asenov, P., Amoroso, S., Adamu-Lema, F., & Gerrer, L. (2015, May).

56 Unified approach for simulation of statistical reliability in nanoscale CMOS transistors from

57 devices to circuits. In 2015 ieee int. symp. circuits syst. (pp. 2449–2452). Lisbon, Portugal.

58 Beg, A. (2012, Feb). On pedagogy of nanometric circuit reliability. J. Supercomput., 59(2),

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60 URL: http:/mc.manuscriptcentral.com/intjelectron Email: ijeditor@leeds.ac.uk

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5 1 No. of Data Rows: 10008

6 2 Measurements for Transient Analysis

7 3

8 4 p1vgs = 0.000000e+00

5 p2vgs = -4.000000e-01

9 6 p1vds = -1.380295e-05

10 7 p2vds = -1.380295e-05

11 8 n1vgs = 1.126541e-01

12 9 n2vgs = 0.000000e+00

13 10 n1vds = 1.126403e-01

11 n2vds = 2.873459e-01

14

15 Listing 3 SPICE simulation results showing node voltages in a NAND2 gate.

16

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18 762–778.

19 Beg, A. (2014, Oct). Designing array-based CMOS logic gates by using a feedback control system.

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20 In 2014 ieee int. conf. syst. man, cybern. (pp. 935–939).

21 Beg, A. (2016, Aug). Modeling the Probabilities of Failures of 22 nm CMOS Logic Cells. In 2016

22 third int. conf. math. comput. sci. ind. (pp. 94–99). Chania, Greece.

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24 north-east work. circuits syst. taisa conf. newcas-taisa ’09 (pp. 1–4). Toulouse, France:

25 IEEE.

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27 enhancing the static noise margins. In Int. symp. qual. electron. des. (pp. 278–285). Santa

28 Clara, CA, USA.

29 (2013). Retrieved 2015-09-18, from

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31 Bhaduri, D., Shukla, S., Graham, P., & Gokhale, M. (2005). Comparing Reliability-Redundancy

32 Tradeoffs for Two von Neumann Multiplexing Architectures. IEEE Trans. Nanotechnol.,

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33 6(3), 265–279.

34 Chen, C., & Mao, Y. (2008). A statistical reliability model for single electron threshold logic. IEEE

35 T. Electron Dev., 55(6), 1547–1533.

36 Dubrova, E. (2013). Fault-Tolerant Design. New York, NY: Springer New York.

37 Esqueda, I. S., & Barnaby, H. J. (2013, Oct). Defect-based compact model for circuit reliabil-

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38 ity simulation in advanced CMOS technologies. In 2013 ieee int. integr. reliab. work. (pp.

39 45–49). South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA.

40 Ghetti, A., Alam, M., Bude, J., Monroe, D., Sangiorgi, E., & Vaidya, H. (2000). Stress induced

41 leakage current analysis via quantum yield experiments. IEEE Trans. Electron Devices,

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42 47(7), 1341–1348.

43 Gielen, G., De Wit, P., Maricau, E., Loeckx, J., Martı́n-Martı́nez, J., Kaczer, B., . . . M. Nafrı́a, M.

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