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Embedded processors, like for example processor macros inside modern FPGAs, are becoming widely used in many applications. As soon as these devices are deployed in radioactive environments, designers need hardening solutions to mitigate radiation-induced errors. When low-cost applications have to be developed, the traditional hardware redundancy-based approaches exploiting m-way replication and voting are no longer viable as too expensive, and new mitigation techniques have to be developed. In this paper we present a new approach, based on processor duplication, checkpoint and rollback, to detect and correct soft errors affecting the memory elements of embedded processors. Preliminary fault injection results performed on a PowerPC-based system confirmed the efficiency of the approach.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2008