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ThinkMind // PESARO 2020, The Tenth International Conference on Performance, Safety and Robustness in Complex Systems and Applications // View article pesaro_2020_1_30_60016


Challenges in Mitigating Soft Errors in Safety-critical Systems with COTS Microprocessors

Authors:
Amer Kajmakovic
Konrad Diwold
Nermin Kajtazovic
Robert Zupanc

Keywords: soft errors, mixed-criticality, Fail-safe, 1oo2D, Embedded memory, Hamming, Parity bit, Redundant Parity

Abstract:
The number of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) microprocessors and microcontrollers used in safety applications increased significantly over the last decade. In contrast to safety-certified microcontrollers, these microcontrollers are not produced with integrated protection against memory soft errors and limited in terms of available memory and computation power. However, due to the constant optimizations of the memory's physical size and the voltage margins, the probability that external factors, such as magnetic fields or cosmic rays, temporally alter a memory state (and thus cause a soft error) rises. Especially within safety-critical automation systems, it is crucial to address such errors and a wide range of error mitigation strategies have been proposed. In the context of established brownfield automation systems, the redesign and deployment of new hardware is usually not feasible. Therefore software-based strategies are required, which can be deployed on existing fail-safe architectures to further improve their performances, without requiring their rework or conceptual changes. This article identifies challenges associated with software-based soft error detection and correction strategies. Along with the challenges, a short overview of currently applicable software-based mitigation strategies is given and the strategies are evaluated.

Pages: 13 to 18

Copyright: Copyright (c) IARIA, 2020

Publication date: February 23, 2020

Published in: conference

ISSN: 2308-3700

ISBN: 978-1-61208-773-3

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Dates: from February 23, 2020 to February 27, 2020

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