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The use of Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOSs) became an attractive solution to simplify the design of safety-critical real-time embedded systems. Due to their stringent constraints such as battery-powered, high-speed and low-voltage operation, these systems are often subject to transient faults originated from a large spectrum of noisy sources, among them, the conducted and radiated Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). As the major consequence, the system's reliability degrades. In this paper, we present a hardware-based intellectual property (IP) core, namely RTOS-Guardian (RTOS-G) able to monitor the RTOS' execution in order to detect faults that corrupt the tasks' execution flow in embedded systems based on preemptive RTOS. Experimental results based on the Plasma microprocessor IP core running different test programs that exploit several RTOS resources have been developed. During test execution, the proposed system was exposed to conducted EMI according to the international standard IEC 61.000-4-29 for voltage dips, short interruptions and voltage transients on the power supply lines of electronic systems. The obtained results demonstrate that the proposed approach is able to provide higher fault coverage and reduced fault latency when compared to the native fault detection mechanisms embedded in the kernel of the RTOS.
Date of Conference: 13-15 July 2011