Improving Computer Scalability & Reliability to Enable Continued Technology Advancement

When is a Million-Year MTBF Too Short?

Jerry Cox The reliability metric, Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF), is often misunderstood. Use of an MTBF metric generally assumes a random failure process, one that is very infrequent and has no memory of past failures. Such failure modes can occur in...

Synchronizer Reliability Metrics

Jerry Cox As an example of the need for real-world reliability metrics, consider a modern automobile. We can already buy a car with parking assistance, collision avoidance, autonomous braking and adaptive cruise control features. These new features depend on video...

But I Never Have Seen a Synchronizer Failure

Jerry Cox You may say, “Why should I worry about synchronizer failures when I have never seen one fail in a product?” Perhaps you feel that the dual-rank synchronizer used by many designers makes your design safe. Furthermore, those chips that have occasional...

Ten Ways Your Synchronizer MTBF May Be Wrong

Jerry Cox Estimating the MTBF of an SoC should always include an analysis of synchronizer reliability. Contemporary process nodes are introducing new challenges to the reliability of clock domain crossings so it is prudent to revisit how your simulation tool...