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Robust Digital Systems

Thursday11:45 - 13:15Room: 13-222

 Start:  Thu, 2017-04-20

2 hours of lecture (3 ECTS credits)


  • No lecture on Thu, 2017-06-15 (holiday).
  • Erasmus Mundus Distinguished Lectures by Prof. Mihails Maniatakos, New York University. (See below)
  • Exam dates have been fixed. See below for more information.


This course is taught in English.


Modern technology relies more and more on computing systems, impacting all aspects of human life. The complexity of these systems is constantly growing and so is their vulnerability against design errors, manufacturing defects and faults occurring during operation. Additional challenges result from latest manufacturing technologies which are inherently more susceptible to process variations, leading to unreliable circuit devices. This lecture discusses techniques to make digital systems robust against such faults and errors. 


  1. Metrics of fault tolerance (reliability, availability, failure rate, MTTF, Weibull distribution, system reliability analysis)

  1. Structural Redundancy (triple-modular redundancy, N-modular redundancy, dynamic redundancy, hybrid schemes)

  1. Information Redundancy (codes and their properties, error detection and correction, parity codes, Hamming code, Hsiao code, checksum codes, cyclic codes, AN codes, residue codes)

  1. CMOS Failures(overview of failure causes in CMOS circuits: manufacturing defects, process variations, aging effects, soft errors)

  1. Fault Models (abstraction levels of fault models, transistor-level fault models, gate-level models, stuck-at faults, delay faults, bridging faults)

  1. Fault Simulation and Test Generation (fault simulation applications and algorithms, random test generation, structural ATPG, SAT-based ATPG, sequential test generation)

  1. Design for Testability (scan design, Built-in self test (BIST), offline BIST, online BIST)

  1. Hardware Redundancy Techniques (circuit-level resilience techniques (BISER, Razor), concurrent error detection, self-checking circuits)

  1. Software-based Resilience (checkpointing & recovery, software-based concurrent error detection)

Erasmus Mundus Distinguished Lecture

This year the course is complemented by four lectures given by Prof. Mihalis Maniatakos, on the subject of Embedded Systems Security, with a focus on critical infrastructures. 

Thu, 2017-06-2211:45 – 13:1513-222
Fri, 2017-06-2314:00 – 15:3013-305
Thu, 2017-06-2911:45 – 13:1513-222
Fri, 2017-06-3014:00 – 15:3013-305

Mihalis Maniatakos is an Assistant Professor of ECE at NYU Abu Dhabi and a Research Assistant Professor at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. He is the Director of the MoMA Laboratory (nyuad.nyu.edu/momalab). He received his Ph.D. in 2012 from the Electrical Engineering department at Yale University. His research interests, funded by industry partners and the US government, include robust microprocessor architectures, privacy-preserving computation, as well as industrial control systems security. He has authored several publications in IEEE transactions and conferences, holds patents on privacy-preserving data processing, and serves in the technical program committee for various conferences. Michail is currently the faculty lead for the Embedded Security challenge held yearly at various NYU global sites.

More information about him can be found at his web page.

Exam dates

  • Wed, 2017-08-02
  • Wed, 2017-10-11


Access information for the course material is given in class.

Information about online registration for exam


(slides per page)

0 - Organisation (1)  (2)  (4)  
1 - Introduction (1)  (2)  (4)  
2 - Metrics of Dependability (1)  (2)  (4)  
3 - Structural Redundancy (1)  (2)  (4)
4 - Information Redundancy (1)  (2)  (4)
5 - CMOS Failures (1)  (2)  (4)
6 - Fault Models (1)  (2)  (4)
7 - Fault Simulation and Test Generation (1)  (2)  (4)
8 - Design For Testability (1)  (2)  (4)
9 - Hardware Redundancy (1)  (2)  (4)
10 - Software-Based Resilience (1)  (2)  (4)
  • Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security ( PDF )
  • Control System Devices: Architectures and Supply Channels Overview ( PDF )
  • Critical Infrastructure Cyber Security ( PDF )