On Chip Characterization of Single Event Transient Pulse Widths
It is now well known to the radiation effects community that single event effects caused by energetic particles, particularly single event transients, will be among the dominant reliability issues in advanced integrated circuits. A single event upset is a static error in storage elements such as memory and is independent of clock frequency. Whereas single event transients are glitches that propagate through combinational logic elements and get stored as incorrect data. Such errors are dependent on both the clock frequency and the pulse width of the transient. Precise knowledge of particle-induced transient pulse widths is important to develop hardening techniques to mitigate the effects of these transients. However there have not been many efforts in the past to characterize these transients, primarily because they did not pose a great threat to reliability and/or did not contribute significantly to error rates in older technology devices. Also it has been very difficult to measure these transients accurately, as they occur on pico-second time scales. However, with decreasing feature sizes and increasing clock speeds, single event transients have already started to dominate soft error rates. This thesis presents a novel circuit technique to measure single event transients accurately. Laser test results are presented to validate this approach.