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Component-Based Safety Analysis of FPGAs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Publication details

JournalIndustrial Informatics, IEEE Transactions on
DatePublished - 1 May 2010
Issue number2
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)195-205
Original languageEnglish


Component-based and modular software development techniques have become established in recent years. Without complementary verification and certification methods the benefits of these development techniques are reduced. As part of certification, it is necessary to show a system is acceptably safe which subsumes both the normal and abnormal (failure) cases. However, non-functional properties, such as safety and failures, are abstraction breakers, cutting across multiple components. Also, much of the work on component-based engineering has been applied to software-based systems rather than FPGA-based systems whose use is becoming more popular in industry. In this paper we show how a modular design embedded on a FPGA can be exhaustively analysed (from a safety perspective) to derive the failure and safety properties to give the evidence needed for a safety case. The specific challenges faced are analysing the fault characteristics of individual electronic components, combining the results across software modules, and then feeding this into a system safety case. A secondary benefit of taking this approach is that there is less uncertainty in the performance of the device, hence, it can be used for higher integrity systems. Finally, design improvements can be specifically targeted at areas of safety concern, leading to more optimal utilisation of the FPGA device

    Research areas

  • Component-based, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), safety analysis, PARTIAL RECONFIGURATION, BEHAVIOR, SYSTEMS, FAILURE

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