Analyzing Reliability and Performance Trade-Offs of HLS-Based Designs in SRAM-Based FPGAs under Soft Errors

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Tambara L.A.
Tonfat J.
Santos A.
Kastensmidt F.L.
Medina N.H.
Added N.
Aguiar V.A.P.
Aguirre F.
Silveira M.A.G.
IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
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TAMBARA, LUCAS ANTUNES; TONFAT, JORGE; SANTOS, ANDRE; LIMA KASTENSMIDT, FERNANDA; MEDINA, NILBERTO H.; ADDED, NEMITALA; AGUIAR, VITOR A. P.; AGUIRRE, FERNANDO; SILVEIRA, MARCILEI A. G.. Analyzing Reliability and Performance Trade-offs of HLS-based Designs in SRAM-based FPGAs under Soft Errors. IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, v. 63, p. 1-1, 2017.
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© 1963-2012 IEEE.The increasing system complexity of FPGA-based hardware designs and shortening of time-to-market have motivated the adoption of new designing methodologies focused on addressing the current need for high-performance circuits. High-Level Synthesis (HLS) tools can generate Register Transfer Level (RTL) designs from high-level software programming languages. These tools have evolved significantly in recent years, providing optimized RTL designs, which can serve the needs of safety-critical applications that require both high performance and high reliability levels. However, a reliability evaluation of HLS-based designs under soft errors has not yet been presented. In this work, the trade-offs of different HLS-based designs in terms of reliability, resource utilization, and performance are investigated by analyzing their behavior under soft errors and comparing them to a standard processor-based implementation in an SRAM-based FPGA. Results obtained from fault injection campaigns and radiation experiments show that it is possible to increase the performance of a processor-based system up to 5,000 times by changing its architecture with a small impact in the cross section (increasing up to 8 times), and still increasing the Mean Workload Between Failures (MWBF) of the system.