Improving Computer Scalability & Reliability to Enable Continued Technology Advancement

Metastability References

S. Beer, R. Ginosar, J. Cox, T. Chaney, D. Zar “Metastability challenges for 65nm and beyond; simulation and measurements” Design, Automation & Test in Europe Conference & Exhibition (DATE), 2013 VIEW FULL ARTICLE S. Beer, R. Ginosar “Eleven ways to boost your...

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Measuring Metastability

Measuring metastability is just 50 years old this year. In 1965 my colleague Tom Chaney took a sampling ‘scope picture of an ECL flip-flop going metastable. S. Lubkin had made mention of the phenomenon over a decade before that, but at that time most engineers were...

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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...

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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...

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Real World Examples of Metastability

Jerry Cox From the beginning, now some 50 years ago, we often ran into requests for help such as: “we need help, but this work needs to confidential. If this became known, it would damage the reputation of our product.” It was, and is, rare where we were allowed to...

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MTBF Bounds for Multistage Synchronizers

Salomon Beer Abstract— Synchronizers are used to mitigate the effects of metastability in multiple clock domain System-on-Chip devices. In order to enable reliable synchronization, the synchronizer MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) should be much longer than the...

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Metastability and Fatal System Errors

Jerry Cox Metastability is an inescapable phenomenon in digital electronic systems, particularly those with multiple independent clock domains such as System-on-Chip (SoC) products. This phenomenon has been known to cause fatal system errors for half a century. Over...

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