Fault Tolerance Now Available For ICs In Mainstream Markets
SANTA CLARA, Calif. and GRENOBLE, France - March 4, 2002 - iRoC Technologies, a leader in the field of Integrated Circuits Reliability, announced today the availability of RoCKIT[tm], a new technology platform for integration of fault tolerance into VDSM integrated circuits. Targeted for next generation logic IC designs approaching nanometer technologies, RoCKIT embeds intellectual property (IP) in the silicon, improving IC reliability while pushing silicon limits and keeping new signal integrity constraints at bay.
Fault tolerance has now emerged as the advanced solution for elimination of unpredictable errors such as soft errors and timing faults in ICs for such high performance, secure applications as Smart Cards, automotive, networking and computing systems. The RoCKIT technology platform offers the capabilities to implement robustness in virtually any application or semiconductor technology.
"Quality, availability and reliability of electronic systems are more difficult to achieve at smaller geometries. What has been generally thought to be a system house responsibility is becoming an IDM or fabless house challenge in the broad field of signal integrity," said Eric Dupont, president and CEO of iRoC Technologies. "iRoC is the first company to introduce embedded Robustness IP to ensure that fabless or IDM company products will meet the reliability specifications of their customers."
In this first version, RoCKIT deals with transient errors mainly due to soft errors and timing faults occurring in logic networks. Because of their transient characteristics, these errors can be filtered out thanks to a time-redundancy technique using an appropriate shifted clock to compare signals at two different instances. Specifically designed to detect errors in logic network, this technique has been successfully implemented in a 32-bit SPARC RISC processor. This first robustness platform, silicon proven, is well suited for chips operating below 500MHz. In fact, a soft error strike can create an 800ps noise pulse that could be close to the clock frequency. By operating at gate level, this methodology is compliant with any kind of technology process.
"The time-redundancy design methodology used inside RoCKIT was described in a paper at DATE 2000 and garnered the best paper award," stated Michael Nicolaidis, CTO of iRoC Technologies. "Now this breakthrough technique is commercially available and will enable designers of digital integrated circuits to produce best-in-class, more reliable chips for Robust systems."
Traditional soft error protection design techniques for logic blocks have introduced unbearable extra silicon overhead by increasing the size of silicon by 100% or more, and requiring extra power of the same order of magnitude. RoCKIT provides cost-effective error protection solutions decreasing the extra size cost by a factor of 8. Moreover, this detection mechanism brings no performance penalty as the Robust SPARC die design proved.
About iRoC Technologies
iRoC is a semiconductor IP provider that embeds fault tolerance into integrated circuits. The iRoC embedded Robustness IP family consists of cost-effective design solutions, customized for any application, to be integrated as the self-correcting intelligence of the chip and finally of the whole system. iRoC also provides a RobustIP catalog. More information on the company's products and services can be obtained at www.iroctech.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
iRoC and RoCKIT are registered trademarks of iRoC Technologies Corporation. All other company or product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.
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