Real-Time Systems with Radiation-Hardened Processors: A GPU-based Framework to Explore Tradeoffs

Mohammad Alhowaidi
Department of Computer and Information Science, Institutionen for datavetenskap, Linkopings universitet
Linkopings universitet, 2012


   title={Real-Time Systems with Radiation-Hardened Processors: A GPU-based Framework to Explore Tradeoffs},

   author={Alhowaidi, M.},




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Radiation-hardened processors are designed to be resilient against soft errorsbut such processors are slower than Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS)processors as well significantly costlier. In order to mitigate the high costs,software techniques such as task re-executions must be deployed together withadequately hardened processors to provide reliability. This leads to a huge designspace comprising of the hardening level of the processors and the numberof re-executions of each task in the system. Each configuration in this designspace represents a tradeoff between processor load, reliability and costs. The reliability comes at the price of higher costs due to higher levels of hardeningand performance degradation due to hardening or due to re-executions.Thus, the tradeoffs between performance, reliability and costs must be carefullystudied. Pertinent questions that arise in such a design scenario are – (i)how many times a task must be re-executed and (ii) what should be hardeninglevel? – such that the system reliability is satisfied. In order to evaluate such tradeoffs efficiently, in this thesis, we proposenovel framework that harnesses the computational power of Graphics ProcessingUnits (GPUs). Our framework is based on a system failure probabilityanalysis that connects the probability of failure of tasks to the overall systemreliability. Based on characteristics of this probabilistic analysis as well asreal-time deadlines, we derive bounds on the design space to prune infeasiblesolutions. Finally, we illustrate the benefits of our proposed framework withseveral experiments.
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