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Title:Architecture-Level Soft Error Analysis: Examining the Limits of Common Assumptions
Author(s):Li, Xiaodong; Adve, Sarita V.; Bose, Pradip; Rivers, Jude A.
Abstract:This paper concerns the validity of a widely used method for estimating the architecture-level mean time to failure (MTTF) due to soft errors. The method first calculates the failure rate for an architecture-level component as the product of its raw error rate and an architecture vulnerability factor (AVF). Next, the method calculates the system failure rate as the sum of the failure rates (SOFR) of all components, and the system MTTF as the reciprocal of this failure rate. Both steps make significant assumptions. We investigate the validity of the AVF+SOFR method across a large design space, using both mathematical and experimental techniques with real program traces from SPEC 2000 benchmarks and synthesized traces to simulate longer real-world workloads. We show that AVF+SOFR is valid for most of the realistic cases under current raw error rates. However, for some realistic combinations of large systems, long-running workloads with large phases, and/or large raw error rates, the MTTF calculated using AVF+SOFR shows significant discrepancies from that using first principles. We also show that SoftArch, a previously proposed alternative method that does not make the AVF+SOFR assumptions, does not exhibit the above discrepancies.
Issue Date:2007-03
Genre:Technical Report
Other Identifier(s):UIUCDCS-R-2007-2833
Rights Information:You are granted permission for the non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display, and performance of this technical report in any format, BUT this permission is only for a period of 45 (forty-five) days from the most recent time that you verified that this technical report is still available from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Computer Science Department under terms that include this permission. All other rights are reserved by the author(s).
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-04-22

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