A programmable configuration controller for fault-tolerant applications

Lingkan Gong, Tong Wu, Nguyen T. H. Nguyen, Dimitris Agiakatsikas, Zhuoran Zhao, Ediz Cetin, Oliver Diessel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


FPGAs are promising candidates for computational tasks in space applications. However, they are susceptible to radiation-induced errors, the most common failure being due to the corruption of their configuration memory. Module-based partial reconfiguration and frame-based scrubbing are the two most commonly used techniques for detecting and recovering from configuration memory errors. Both methods require user-designed reconfiguration controllers (RC) to read and write FPGA configuration memory data. This paper proposes a Programmable Configuration Controller (PCC) specifically designed for fault-tolerant applications. PCC has a soft Application Specific Instruction Set Processor (ASIP) architecture. The PCC is software programmable using the C language, which allows it to be used in a wide variety of fault-tolerant applications with minimal design and/or hardware overhead. PCC also has instruction extensions to accelerate commonly-used reconfiguration operations such as reading and writing configuration data. Through 5 case studies, we demonstrate that the use of an ASIP architecture for reconfiguration control in applications prone to radiation-induced corruption strikes the right balance between speed, resource utilization and flexibility.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Field-Programmable Technology, FPT 2016
EditorsYuchen Song, Shaojun Wang, Brent Nelson, Junbao Li, Yu Peng
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781509056026
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event15th International Conference on Field-Programmable Technology, FPT 2016 - Xi'an, China
Duration: 7 Dec 20169 Dec 2016


Other15th International Conference on Field-Programmable Technology, FPT 2016


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