Survey of Soft Error Mitigation Techniques Applied to LEON3 Soft Processors on SRAM-Based FPGAs

S. Kasap, E. W. Wachter, Xiaojun Zhai, Sohaib Ehsan, Klaus D. McDonald-Maier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


Soft-core processors implemented in SRAM-based FPGAs are an attractive option for applications to be employed in radiation environments due to their flexibility, relatively-low application development costs, and reconfigurability features enabling them to adapt to the evolving mission needs. Despite the advantages soft-core processors possess, they are seldom used in critical applications because they are more sensitive to radiation than their hard-core counterparts. For instance, both the logic and signal routing circuitry of a soft-core processor as well as its user memory are susceptible to radiation-induced faults. Therefore, soft-core processors must be appropriately hardened against ionizing-radiation to become a feasible design choice for harsh environments and thus to reap all their benefits. This survey henceforth discusses various techniques to protect the configuration and user memories of an LEON3 soft processor, which is one of the most widely used soft-core processors in radiation environments, as reported in the state-of-the-art literature, with the objective of facilitating the choice of right fault-mitigation solution for any given soft-core processor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8970484
Pages (from-to)28646-28658
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Open Access Under a Creative Commons License


  • LEON3 soft-core processor
  • SEE
  • SEU
  • fault tolerance
  • soft errors
  • software redundancy
  • spatial redundancy
  • temporal redundancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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