No Room for Error: Creating Highly Reliable, High-Availability FPGA Designs

The need for high-reliability and high-availability electronic systems has expanded beyond traditional military and aerospace applications. Today, this growing list includes communications infrastructure systems, medical intensive care, and life-support systems (heart-lung machines, mechanical ventilation
machines, infusion pumps, radiation therapy machines, robotic surgery machines...), nuclear reactor and other power station control systems, transportation signaling and control systems, amusement ride control systems, automotive safety and control systems (airbag, breaking, steering collision-detection, lane departure warning, heads-up displays...), and the list goes on.

How can designers maintain high standards and ensure success for these types of demanding designs?

The answers are here. This paper first provides brief definitions of key concepts: mission-critical, safety critical, high-reliability, and high-availability. The paper then considers the various elements associated with the creation of high-reliability and high-availability FPGA designs.