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Dependability properties of bi-directional and braided rings are well recognized in improving communication availability. However, current ring-based topologies have no mechanisms for extreme integrity and have not been considered for emerging high-dependability markets where cost is a significant driver, such as the automotive "by-wire" applications. This paper introduces a braided-ring architecture with superior guardian functionality and complete Byzantine fault tolerance while simultaneously reducing cost. This paper reviews anticipated requirements for high-dependability low-cost applications and emphasizes the need for regular safe testing of core coverage functions. The paper describes the ring's main mechanisms for achieving integrity and availability levels similar to SAFEbus® but at low automotive costs. The paper also presents a mechanism to achieve self-stabilizing TDMA-based communication and design methods for fault-tolerant protocols on a network of simplex nodes. The paper also introduces a new self-checking pair concept that leverages braided-ring properties. This novel message-based self-checking-pair concept allows high-integrity source data at extremely low cost.
Date of Conference: 28 June-1 July 2005