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A Structural Technique for Fault-Protection in Asynchronous Interfaces

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alex Yakovlev


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Asynchronous VLSI circuits have been proven to be more tolerant to persistent defects, such as stuck-at faults, then their clocked counterparts. However, since such circuits are directly reactive to input stimuli, they can be more vulnerable to transient faults at their inputs. The ability to tolerate such faults is most crucial for interface circuits, or transducers, which are the informational kernel of any system. For example, an unspecified signal change at some of the transducer's links can produce a harmful effect on other links and influence the whole system's behaviour. We investigate types of faults and specific requirements of asynchronous transducers, under the various assumptions about the correctness of their and the environment's implementation. We propose a structural method which is based on, first, synthesizing a correct circuit for the transducer from its original specification made under the assumption that the environment is correct, and then augmenting it by a structurally separate "wrapping" of a special protection logic. This logic consists of the perfect mirror model and adjudicator components which are built separately for each of the transducer links. The discussion makes use of the formalism of trace structures and their conformance, as introduced by D. Dill. The approach appears to be most efficient when the links between the transducer and the environment utilise standard handshake protocols.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yakovlev A

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Computing Laboratory Technical Report Series

Year: 1991

Pages: 29

Print publication date: 01/11/1991

Source Publication Date: November 1991

Report Number: 362

Institution: Computing Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne