Towards nanoelectronics processor architectures

Wenjing Rao, Alex Orailoglu, Ramesh Karri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we focus on reliability, one of the most fundamental and important challenges, in the nanoelectronics environment. For a processor architecture based on the unreliable nanoelectronic devices, fault tolerance schemes are required so as to ensure the basic correctness of any computation. Since any fault tolerance approach demands redundancy either in the form of time or hardware, reliability needs to be considered in conjunction with the performance and hardware tradeoffs. We propose a new computational model for the nanoelectronics based processor architectures, that provides flexible fault tolerance to deal with the high and time varying faults. The model guarantees the correctness of instruction executions, while dynamically balancing hardware and performance overheads. The correctness of every instruction is confirmed by multiple execution instances through a hybrid hardware-time redundancy approach. To achieve high system performance, multiple unconfirmed computation branches are exploited in a speculative manner. Hardware resource growth that these speculative computations entail is controlled so that the utilization of hardware is balanced between the two competing goals of performance and fault tolerance. In addition, we examine the impact on the proposed computational model of other nanoelectronic characteristics such as the necessity for localization of interconnections and the regularity of nanofabric structures on the proposed computational model. We set up an experimental framework to validate the effectiveness of the proposed scheme as well as to investigate multiple tradeoff points within the proposed approach. Simulation data confirm that the proposed computational model achieves the goal of providing flexible fault tolerance under a wide range of fault occurrence rates, while at the same time guaranteeing high system performance and efficient utilization of hardware resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-254
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Electronic Testing: Theory and Applications (JETTA)
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Computational model
  • Fault tolerance
  • Hardware redundancy
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Processor architecture
  • Reliability
  • Time redundancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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