Transactions on Computers Media Center

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Albert Zomaya

TC EIC

 

A Word from the Editor-in-Chief,
Albert Y. Zomaya

 

 

 

Call for Papers: IEEE Transactions on Computers Special Section on Computer Arithmetic

Guest Editors Alberto Nannarelli, Peter-Michael Seidel, and Ping Tak Peter Tang [http://www.computer.org/portal/web/tc] seeking original manuscripts for the IEEE Transactions on Computers Special Section on Computer Arithmetic. Submission deadline: September 15, 2013.

 

Computer arithmetic is fundamental to the design of general-purpose and domain-specific processors. Novel arithmetic algorithms and hardware designs are needed to satisfy the power-performance requirements of numerically-intensive applications in a variety of areas including scientific computing, cryptography, multimedia, graphics and digital signal processing. Specialized number representations and encodings play a significant role in the design of arithmetic algorithms and their implementations. Additionally, understanding the fundamental properties of finite precision number systems is essential in the engineering of efficient arithmetic algorithms, as well as the current and future emerging technologies are important in influencing the design and the implementation of such algorithms.

The full Call for Papers can be found here: http://www.computer.org/cms/Computer.org/transactions/cfps/cfp_tcsi_arith.pdf

In Their Own Words In Their Own Words

Entries with tag reliability.

A Novel Fault Tolerant and Runtime Reconfigurable Platform for Satellite Payload Processing

by Luca Sterpone, Mario Porrmann, Jens Hagemeyer

 

Reconfigurable hardware is gaining a steadily growing interest in the domain of space applications. The ability to reconfigure the information processing infrastructure at runtime together with the high computational power of today's FPGA architectures at relatively low power makes these devices interesting candidates for data processing in space applications. Partial dynamic reconfiguration of FPGAs enables maximum flexibility and can be utilized for performance optimization, for improving energy efficiency, and for enhanced fault tolerance. To be able to prove the effectiveness of these novel approaches for satellite payload processing, a highly scalable prototyping environment has been developed, combining dynamically reconfigurable FPGAs with the required interfaces such as SpaceWire, MIL-STD-1553B, and SpaceFibre. The developed systems have been enabled to space harsh environments thanks to an analytical analysis of the radiation effects on its most critical reconfigurable components. Aiming at that scope, a new algorithm for the analysis of critical radiation effects, in particular, related to Single Event Upsets (SEUs) and Multiple Event Upsets (MEUs) has been developed to obtain an effective estimation of the radiation impact and enabling the tuning of the component mapping reducing the routing interaction between the reconfigurable placed modules in their different feasible positions. The experimental performance of the system has been evaluated by a proper dynamic reconfiguration scenario, demonstrating a partial reconfiguration at 400 MByte/s, blind and readback scrubbing is supported and the scrub rate can be adapted individually for different parts of the design. The fault tolerance capability has been proven by means of a new analysis algorithm and by fault injection campaigns of SEUs and MCUs into the FPGA configuration memory.

The full article can be found here: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/TC.2013.80

Analysis of Error Masking and Restoring Properties of Sequential Circuits

by Jinghang Liang, Jie Han, and Fabrizio Lombardi

 

Scaling of CMOS technology into nanometric feature sizes has raised concerns for the reliable operation of logic circuits such as in the presence of soft errors. This paper deals with the analysis of the operation of sequential circuits. As the feedback signals in a sequential circuit can be logically masked by specific combinations of primary inputs, the cumulative effects of soft errors can be eliminated. This phenomenon, referred to as error masking, is related to the presence of so-called restoring inputs and/or the consecutive presence of specific inputs in multiple clock cycles (equivalent to a synchronizing sequence in switching theory). In this paper, error masking is extensively analyzed using the operations of state transition matrices (STMs) and binary decision diagrams (BDDs) of a finite state machine (FSM) model. The characteristics of the state transitions with respect to the correlation between the restoring inputs and the time sequence are mathematically established using STMs; although the applicability of the STM analysis is restricted due to its complexity, the BDD approach is more efficient and scalable for use in the analysis of large circuits. These results are supported by simulations of benchmark circuits and may provide a basis for further devising efficient and robust implementation when designing FSMs.

The full article can be found here:

http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/TC.2012.147

Low Overhead Soft Error Mitigation Techniques for High-Performance and Aggressive Designs

by Naga Durga Prasad Avirneni and Arun Somani

 

The threat of soft error induced system failure in computing systems has become more prominent, as we adopt ultra-deep submicron process technologies. In this paper, we propose two efficient soft error mitigation schemes, namely Soft Error Mitigation (SEM) and Soft and Timing Error Mitigation (STEM), using the approach of multiple clocking of data for protecting combinational logic blocks from soft errors. Our first technique, SEM, based on distributed and temporal voting of three registers, unloads the soft error detection overhead from the critical path of the systems. SEM is also capable of ignoring false errors and recovers from soft errors using in-situ fast recovery avoiding recomputation. Our second technique, STEM, while tolerating soft errors, adds timing error detection capability to guarantee reliable execution in aggressively clocked designs that enhance system performance by operating beyond worst-case clock frequency. We also present a specialized low overhead clock phase management scheme that ably supports our proposed techniques. Timing annotated gate level simulations, using 45nm libraries, of a pipelined adder-multiplier and DLX processor show that both our techniques achieve near 100% fault coverage. For DLX processor, even under severe fault injection campaigns, SEM achieves an average performance improvement of 26.58% over a conventional triple modular redundancy voter based soft error mitigation scheme, while STEM outperforms SEM by 27.42%.

The full article can be found here: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/TC.2011.31

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Essential Sets: Industry's Interest in Computer Arithmetic Research: Part I, Dr. Schwarz's view

Dr. Eric Schwarz describes the important aspects of computer arithmetic research. He provides a list of current questions that need to be solved by research and also what topics are the most interesting to industry.

 

Purchase the Essential Sets here:

Volume 1:

www.computer.org/portal/web/store?product_id=ES0000033&category_id=TechSets

Volume 2:

www.computer.org/portal/web/store?product_id=ES0000034&category_id=TechSets

 

Essential Sets: Industry's Interest in Computer Arithmetic Research: Part II, Dr. Hu's view

Dr. Hu describes the important aspects of computer arithmetic research. He provides a list of current questions that need to be solved by research and also what topics are the most interesting to industry.

Purchase the Essential Sets here:

Volume 1:

www.computer.org/portal/web/store?product_id=ES0000033&category_id=TechSets

Volume 2:

www.computer.org/portal/web/store?product_id=ES0000034&category_id=TechSets

 

Concurrent On-Line Testing and Error/Fault Resilience of Digital Systems

Guest editor Cecilia Metra discusses the "Concurrent On-Line Testing and Error/Fault Resilience of Digital Systems" theme issue for IEEE Transactions on Computers. View the issue here:

http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/transactions/tc#3