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5/2012 : A Novel Late-Transition Detection Circuit for MTBU Measurement in FPGAs

RR Number
5/2012
Author(s)
Thomas Polzer, Andreas Steininger
Abstract
The experimental measurement of metastability parameters is usually based on late transition detection. In an FPGA this measurement is specifically difficult due to the strong influence of the (often unknown) routing delays and the lack of a precise time reference. In this paper we propose a novel measurement circuit that mitigates these issues by (i) employing an on-chip DLL as a time reference and (ii) performing a calibration measurement. In this way metastability characterization of FPGA based bistable devices can be conveniently performed with good accuracy. Beyond an explanation of the circuit we analyze the sources of uncertainty that still remain in our solution and present several experimental results that we made for flip-flops using our circuit. Our results match well with the parameters specified by the manufacturer, which confirms the usefulness of our approach.
Bibtex
@techreport{ polzer:2012-5,
  author =       "Thomas Polzer and Andreas Steininger",
  title =        "A Novel Late-Transition Detection Circuit for MTBU Measurement in FPGAs",
  institution =  "Technische Universit{\"a}t Wien, Institut f{\"u}r Technische Informatik",
  address =      "Treitlstr. 1-3/182-1, 1040 Vienna, Austria",
  type =         "Research Report",
  year =         "2012",
  number =       "5/2012"
}
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