Talks and Poster Presentations (with Proceedings-Entry):
G. Fuchs, M Függer, A. Steininger:
"On the Threat of Metastability in an Asynchronous Fault-Tolerant Clock Generation Scheme";
Talk: ASYNC 2009 (International Symposium on Asynchronous Circuits and Systems),
Chapel Hill, North Carolina;
- 2009-05-20; in: "ASYNC 2009",
IEEE Computer Society,
Due to their handshake-based flow control, asynchronous circuits generally do not suffer from metastability issues as much as synchronous circuits do. We will show, however, that fault effects like single-event transients can force (sequential) asynchronous building blocks such as Muller C-Elements into a metastable state. By means of a fault-tolerant clock generation scheme, we will show that metastability could overcome conventional error containment boundaries, and that, ultimately, a single metastable upset could cause even a multiple Byzantine fault-tolerant system to fail. In order to quantify this threat, we performed accurate analytic modeling and simulation of the elastic pipelines, which are at the heart of our physical implementation of the fault-tolerant clocks. Our analysis results reveal that only transient pulses of some very pecific width can trigger metastable behavior, and that logical masking is still effective to some extent. Although in summary the probability of a metastable upset to propagate through a pipeline is hence fairly small, %it is definitely not negligible. We hence argue that a thorough metastability analysis is mandatory for circuits employed in high-dependability applications.
Metastability, Fault Tolerance, Asynchronous Clock
"Official" electronic version of the publication (accessed through its Digital Object Identifier - DOI)
Project Head Andreas Steininger:
Verteilte Algorithmen für robuste Takt-Synchronisation
Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.