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International Journal of Reconfigurable Computing
Volume 2012, Article ID 850487, 11 pages
Research Article

A Fault Injection Analysis of Linux Operating on an FPGA-Embedded Platform

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Brigham Young University, 459 Clyde Building, Provo, UT 84602, USA

Received 1 May 2011; Revised 28 July 2011; Accepted 1 September 2011

Academic Editor: Claudia Feregrino

Copyright © 2012 Joshua S. Monson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An FPGA-based Linux test-bed was constructed for the purpose of measuring its sensitivity to single-event upsets. The test-bed consists of two ML410 Xilinx development boards connected using a 124-pin custom connector board. The Design Under Test (DUT) consists of the “hard core” PowerPC, running the Linux OS and several peripherals implemented in “soft” (programmable) logic. Faults were injected via the Internal Configuration Access Port (ICAP). The experiments performed here demonstrate that the Linux-based system was sensitive to 199,584 or about 1.4 percent of all tested bits. Each sensitive bit in the bit-stream is mapped to the resource and user-module to which it configures. A density metric for comparing the reliability of modules within the system is presented. Using this density metric, we found that the most sensitive user module in the design was the PowerPC's direct connections to the DDR2 memory controller.