Angela Sutton, staff product marketing manager, FPGA Implementation, Synopsys, Inc.
EETimes (1/4/2011 7:46 AM EST)
Designs must be developed using techniques that will specifically enable mission- and safety-critical operation of the design after it is deployed. For example, EDA tools must allow engineers to build and retain redundancy in the design, as well as custom error detection and mitigation logic that automatically resolves errors such as those due to radiation effects. This logic can quickly return the system to a known safe state of operation ensuring high system availability in the field with correct and reliable operation and minimal downtime.
The design itself should be fully checked prior to deployment. Formal verification equivalence checking, virtual prototyping and software simulation are techniques that assist designers in verifying functional correctness and verifying that performance and power needs are being met.
EDA tools can also provide a valuable means to track and trace requirements from specification to completion of a project, while still achieving the required design performance on schedule. Project managers, system architects and design and verification engineers can now track requirements electronically from specification to completion. This allows design teams to develop processes that ensure their projects are in compliance with, for example, DO-254 requirements.
This article considers the various elements and methodologies noted above that are associated with the creation of high-reliability and high-availability FPGA designs.
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