VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) dependability signifies a feature that a system with embedded VLSI is always operational without uneasiness. The present society depends on the highly sophisticated information system. The service provided by the information system must be of high quality and credible for our human life and society. The VLSI is an important electronic device that supports the current information system.
The present R&D intensively pursuing the transistor size, processing speed, memory capacity, and high-performance has brought the advancement of the VLSI technology. Due to this steady technological development, the life of the present society is getting more and more dependent on the VLSI technology. However, the VLSI downsizing trend is approaching to the physical limit. As a result, the difference and statistical fluctuation during the manufacturing process cannot be ignored along with the problem of malfunction due to cosmic rays. In addition, because of the advancement of the VLSI, the processes for VLSI design, manufacturing, and inspection have become complicated, which brings in degradation of dependability due to human errors, malicious attacks, stealing privacy information, and unexpected behavior of mutual reaction between complicated VLSI system elements have become the serious threat to the information systems.
In order to cope with these new threats and satisfy the expectation of the social needs – more and more dependent on the information system – ensuring dependability is necessary in addition to high performance features for the R&D of the VLSI technology. Through the adoption of these strategies, Japanese cutting-edge VLSI technologies can be maintained vividly and new science and technology frontier can be opened up.
In order to maintain the VLSI dependability, the development of the following aspects is required: new technology for vast amounts of process flows covering design, manufacturing, and implementation; specification preparation technology assuming human errors; operation error reduction technology; and malicious attack control technology in addition to the R&D in various phases from device level to system architecture level. In order to implement the dependable VLSI, the R&D on dependability evaluation technique and life-cycle design technique must be conducted.
For the R&D on VLSI dependability, the R&D for individual theme alone is not sufficient, so that all the relevant technologies for realizing dependable VLSI should be integrated and a PDCA cycle should be maintained.