Radiation Testing of a Multiprocessor Macrosynchronized Lockstep Architecture With FreeRTOS

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Nowadays, high-performance microprocessors are demanded in many fields, including those with high-reliability requirements. Commercial microprocessors present a good tradeoff between cost, size, and performance, albeit they must be adapted to satisfy the reliability requirements when they are used in harsh environments. This work presents a high-end multiprocessor hardened with macrosynchronized lockstep and additional protections. A commercial dual-core Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) cortex A9 has been used as a case study and a complete hardened system has been developed. Evaluation of the proposed hardened system has been accomplished with exhaustive fault injection campaigns and proton irradiation. The hardening approach has been accomplished for both baremetal applications and operating system (OS)-based. The hardened system has demonstrated high reliability in all performed experiments with error coverage up to 99.3% in the irradiation experiments. Experimental irradiation results demonstrate a cross-sectional reduction of two orders of magnitude.
Advanced RISC Machine (ARM), Fault tolerance, FreeRTOS, Lockstep, Microprocessors, Proton, Soft error
Bibliographic citation
IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, (2022), 69(3), pp.: 462-469.