I just heard from the folks at Synopsys that they have made available a jolly good whitepaper on creating high-reliability, high-availability FPGA designs (actually they didn’t say “jolly good” – that was me after I’d read it).
The reason Synopsys created this paper is that the designers of FPGAs for military and aerospace applications need to increase the reliability and availability of their designs. This is particularly true in the case of mission-critical and safety-critical electronic systems.
This paper starts by providing brief definitions of key concepts, including the terms “mission-critical,” “safety-critical,” “high-reliability,” and “high-availability.” Now I’d heard of “fail-safe” before, but I must admit that terms like “fail-operational,” “fail-secure,” and “fail-passive” were new to me.
But we digress – the paper then considers the various elements associated with the creation of high-reliability and high-availability FPGA designs including: FPGA design and verification flows; methodologies, processes, and standards; architectural and algorithmic exploration; geographically distributed design teams; IP selection and verification; DO-254 compliance, and much, much more.
In order to access this paper in the form of a PDF file you have to bounce over to the appropriate registration page on the Synopsys site, but the registration process itself is painless (I just did it myself).
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