Compiler-aided methodology for low overhead on-line testing
Reliability is emerging as an important design criterion in modern systems due to increasing transient fault rates. Hardware fault-tolerance techniques, commonly used to address this, introduce high design costs. As alternative, software Signature-Monitoring (SM) schemes based on compiler assertions are an efficient method for control-flow-error detection. Existing SM techniques do not consider application-specific-information causing unnecessary overheads. In this paper, compile-time Control-Flow-Graph (CFG) topology analysis is used to place best-suited assertions at optimal locations of the assembly code to reduce overheads. Our evaluation with representative workloads shows fault-coverage increase with overheads close to Assertion-based Control-Flow Correction (ACFC), the method with lowest overhead. Compared to ACFC, our technique improves (on average) fault coverage by 17%, performance overhead by 5% and power-consumption by 3% with equal code-size overhead.