Design and analysis of single-event tolerant slave latches for enhanced scan delay testing

Yang Lu, Fabrizio Lombardi, Salvatore Pontarelli, Marco Ottavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The last few years have seen the development and fabrication of nanoscale circuits at high density and low power. Following a single-event upset (SEU), so-called soft errors due to internal and externally induced phenomena (such as $\alpha$-particles and cosmic rays in adverse environments) have been reported during system operation; this is especially deleterious for storage elements such as flip-flops. To reduce the impact of a soft error on flip-flops, hardening techniques have been utilized. This paper proposes two new slave latches for improving the SEU tolerance of a flip-flop in scan delay testing. The two proposed slave latches utilize additional circuitry to increase the critical charge of the flip-flop compared to designs found in the technical literature. When used in a flip-flop, the first (second) latch design achieves a 5.6 (2.4) times larger critical charge with 11% (4%) delay and 16% (9%) power consumption overhead at 32-nm feature size, as compared with the best design found in the technical literature. Moreover, it is shown that the proposed slave latches have also superior performance in the presence of a single event with a multiple-node upset.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6527954
Pages (from-to)333-343
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Device and Materials Reliability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • flip-flop
  • Radiation hardening
  • Single-event upset (SEU)
  • soft error


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