Multiscale System Modeling of Single-Event-Induced Faults in Advanced Node Processors

Matthew Cannon, Arun Rodrigues, Dolores Black, Jeff Black, Luis Bustamante, Matthew Breeding, Ben Feinberg, Micahel Skoufis, Heather Quinn, Lawrence T Clark, John Brunhaver, Hugh Barnaby, Michael McLain, Sapan Agarwal, Matthew J. Marinella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Integration-technology feature shrink increases computing-system susceptibility to single-event effects (SEE). While modeling SEE faults will be critical, an integrated processor's scope makes physically correct modeling computationally intractable. Without useful models, presilicon evaluation of fault-tolerance approaches becomes impossible. To incorporate accurate transistor-level effects at a system scope, we present a multiscale simulation framework. Charge collection at the 1) device level determines 2) circuit-level transient duration and state-upset likelihood. Circuit effects, in turn, impact 3) register-transfer-level architecture-state corruption visible at 4) the system level. Thus, the physically accurate effects of SEEs in large-scale systems, executed on a high-performance computing (HPC) simulator, could be used to drive cross-layer radiation hardening by design. We demonstrate the capabilities of this model with two case studies. First, we determine a D flip-flop's sensitivity at the transistor level on 14-nm FinFet technology, validating the model against published cross sections. Second, we track and estimate faults in a microprocessor without interlocked pipelined stages (MIPS) processor for Adams 90% worst case environment in an isotropic space environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9424210
Pages (from-to)980-990
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Fault modeling
  • single-event effects (SEEs)
  • single-event transient (SET)
  • single-event upset (SEU)
  • structural simulation toolkit (SST)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiscale System Modeling of Single-Event-Induced Faults in Advanced Node Processors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this