Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are being used more frequently in space applications because of their reconfigurability and intensive processing capabilities. FPGAs in environments like space are susceptible to ionizing radiation which can cause Single Event Upsets (SEUs) in the FPGA's configuration memory. These upsets may cause the programmed user design on the FPGA to deviate from its normal behavior. Space missions cannot afford to allow important data processing applications to become corrupted due to these radiation upsets.Configuration scrubbing is an upset mitigation technique that detects and corrects upsets in an FPGA's configuration memory. Configuration scrubbing periodically monitors an FPGA's configuration memory utilizing mechanisms such as Error Correction Codes (ECCs), Cyclic Redundancy Checks (CRCs), a protected golden file, and partial reconfiguration to detect and correct upset memory bits. This work presents improved Xilinx 7-Series configuration scrubbing architectures that achieve minimal hardware footprints, competitive performance metrics, and robust detection and correction capabilities. The two principal scrubbing architectures presented in this work are the readback and hybrid scrubbers which detect and correct Single Bit Upsets (SBUs) and Multi-Bit Upsets (MBUs). Harnessing the performance advantages granted by the 7-Series internal Readback CRC scan, a hybrid scrubber built in software for the Zynq XZC07020 FPGA has been measured to correct SBUs in 8.024 ms, even-numbered MBUs in 13.38 ms, and odd-numbered MBUs in 21.40 ms. It can also perform a full readback scrub of the entire device in under two seconds. These scrubbing architectures were validated in radiation beam tests, where one of the architectures corrected MBUs as large as sixteen bits in a single frame.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





FPGA, radiation testing, BYU, scrubbing, configuration, readback, reliability, TMR, SEU, ECC, CRC, MBU, Zynq, PCAP, Xilinx, bitstream, upset mitigation, 7-Series