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Software-Based Hardening Strategies for Neutron Sensitive FFT Algorithms on GPUs

L. L. Pilla, P. Rech, F. Silvestri, C. Frost, P. O. A. Navaux, M. Sonza Reorda, L. Carro
Instituto de Informatica, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, 2014

@article{pilla2014softwarebased,

   title={Software-Based Hardening Strategies for Neutron Sensitive FFT Algorithms on GPUs},

   author={Pilla, L. L. and Rech, P. and Silvestri, F. and Frost, C. and Navaux, P. O. A. and Reorda, M. Sonza and Carro, L.},

   year={2014}

}

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In this paper we assess the neutron sensitivity of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) when executing a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm, and propose specific software-based hardening strategies to reduce its failure rate. Our research is motivated by experimental results with an unhardened FFT that demonstrate a majority of multiple errors in the output in the case of failures, which are caused by data dependencies. In addition, the use of the built-in error-correction code (ECC) showed a large overhead, and proved to be insufficient to provide high reliability. Experimental results with the hardened algorithm show a two orders of magnitude failure rate improvement over the original algorithm (one order of magnitude over ECC) and an overhead 64% smaller than ECC.
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