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Posted: January 28, 2010
The DIAMOND project - a semiconductor's best friend?
(Nanowerk News) A new EU-funded project is set to simplify life for Europe's semiconductor and electronics industries by making it easier to detect and correct errors. Called DIAMOND ('Diagnosis, error modelling and correction for reliable systems design'), the EUR 3.8 million, 3-year project is funded under the Information and communication technologies (ICT) Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Semiconductor manufacturers currently spend lots of time and effort checking their products for errors. However, to date there has been little research into tools that diagnose and correct errors automatically, and current tools that identify errors in emerging nanotechnologies are not up to the task.
The DIAMOND project aims to develop a series of tools to help the semiconductor and electronics industries diagnose and correct errors more efficiently. During the project, the partners will develop a diagnostic model for design and physical errors, as well as automated error location and correction techniques and a framework for error location and correction. They will also integrate automated correction and diagnosis methods.
By taking an integrated approach to the location and correction of different kinds of errors at all levels, the DIAMOND project reaches beyond the state of the art.
'Until now, looking for errors was a time-consuming process carried out by hand. In the framework of the DIAMOND project, new methods will be developed to rapidly find and remove the causes of errors,' explained project partner Professor Roderick Bloem of the Institute for Applied Information Processing and Communications (IAIK) at the Technical University of Graz in Austria.
'The tool should automatically deliver explanations of how the error arose and make suggestions for its correction,' he added. All in all, he expects the software developed by DIAMOND to cut the time spent looking for errors by up to 50%.
The eight project partners come from six countries and include universities and companies. The project is coordinated by Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia. Other universities in the project are the University of Bremen in Germany, which has expertise in debugging design and implementation problems, and analysing errors. Linköping University in Sweden boasts one of the largest departments of computer and information science in northern Europe. It will bring to the project its knowledge of error analysis and diagnosis techniques. Finally, the IAIK will work on error location and detection methods.
The project includes two companies working in electronic design automation: TransEDA (Hungary) and Testonica Lab (Estonia). IBM Israel and Swedish telecoms operator Ericsson represent the end users of the DIAMOND project outputs, and their role will be to validate and test the tools developed.