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Section: New Results

Evaluating the SEE sensitivity of a 45nm SOI Multi-core Processor due to 14 MeV Neutrons

Participants : Pablo Ramos [Univ. Grenoble Alpes and ESPE Ecuador, PhD student TIMA Laboratory] , Vanessa Vargas [Univ. Grenoble Alpes and ESPE Ecuador, PhD student TIMA Laboratory] , Maud Baylac [CNRS, IN2P3, LSPSC Laboratory] , Francesca Villa [CNRS, IN2P3, LSPSC Laboratory] , Nacer-Eddine Zergainoh [Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Associate Professor, TIMA Laboratory] , Jean-François Méhaut, Raoul Velazco [CNRS, Senior Scientist, TIMA Laboratory] .

The aim of this work is to evaluate the SEE sensitivity of a multi-core processor having implemented ECC and parity in their cache memories. Two different application scenarios are studied. The first one configures the multi-core in Asymmetric Multi-Processing mode running a memory-bound application, whereas the second one uses the Symmetric Multi-Processsing mode running a CPU-bound application. The experiments were validated through radiation ground testing performed with 14 MeV neutrons on the Freescale P2041 multi-core manufactured in 45nm SOI technology. A deep analysis of the observed errors in cache memories was carried-out in order to reveal vulnerabilities in the cache protection mechanisms. Critical zones like tag addresses were affected during the experiments. In addition, the results show that the sensitivity strongly depends on the application and the multi-processsing mode used.

This work is part of the STIC Amsud EnergySFE project 8.4.3. These results are published in the IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science [10].