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Design and test of dependable electronic systems (RES Group)

The main objectives of the research are: design and test of digital systems including modelling and synthesis, verification and debug, test generation and simulation, self-test, diagnosis, and fault tolerance

Background. Digital hardware (HW) exhibited high reliability in the past, however, future nanometre-scale HW devices will become a source of problems. In nanometre technologies, the fault-free production of ICs will be close to impossible. Furthermore, error-free operation in the field becomes uncertain since radiation and electromagnetic coupling can severely harm the function of nanometre circuits. Test, diagnosis, error handling and repair for digital systems are the key functions to be developed, far beyond the capabilities of today’s solutions. The roadmap ITRS [5] reflects these tendencies and labels built-in repair for logic a must from 2010, with no solutions known yet. The long-term answer to these problems will be crucial to the competitiveness of European industries at-large. ITRS estimates that 70% of the design cycle is spent on test and verification and predicts that this share will increase. Enhancing productivity and reliability of the system verification flow is thus a key competitive aspect, both in terms of time- to-market and end-product quality. New high-level and hierarchical approaches for verification and test are needed to cope with growing complexity and high quality requirements of modern ES.

Visions and goals. We will focus our research on dependable ES in following: design and verification, diagnostic modelling, test, debug and fault diagnosis, and design for dependability. The goals are to reduce time-to-market and to ensure high quality and reliability of ES by developing new methods for test generation and fault diagnosis taking into account the knowledge of new types of physical defects caused by new emerging technologies. The performance of new methods and tools will be increased by exploiting hierarchical features of systems. Research topics are linked and focused on improving the quality and dependability of systems. Prototype tools will be created to prove the correctness of concepts and hypotheses and to evaluate new solutions.

The main research topics are: (1) design and verification of digital systems; (2) diagnostic modelling of systems; (3) test research and fault diagnosis; (4) design for dependability of systems.


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