RIFLE: a general purpose pin-level fault injector



This paper discusses the problems of pin-level fault injection for dependability
validation and presents the architecture of a pin-level fault injector called RIFLE. This system can be adapted to a wide range of target systems and the faults are mainly injected in the processor pins. The injection of the faults is deterministic and can be reproduced if needed. Faults of different nature can be injected and the fault injector is able to detect whether the injected fault has produced an error or not without the requirement of feedback circuits. RIFLE can also detect specific circumstances in which the injected faults do not affect the target system. Sets of faults with specific impact on the target system can be generated. The paper also presents fault injection results showing the coverage and latency achieved with a set of simple behavior based error detection mechanisms. It is shown that up to 72,5% of the errors can be detected with fairly simple mechanisms. Furthermore, for over 90% of the faults the target system has behaved according to the fail-silent model, which suggests that a traditional computer equipped
with simple error detection mechanisms is relatively close to a fail-silent computer.


Pin-level Fault Injection


Fault Injection


1st European Dependable Computing Conference (EDCC-1), October 1994

Cited by

Year 2008 : 3 citations

 Peter Ming-Han Lee, Reza Sedaghat, FPGA-based switch-level fault emulation using module-based dynamic partial reconfiguration, Microelectronics Reliability, Volume 48, Issue 10, October 2008, Pages 1724-1733, ISSN 0026-2714

 Pierre Vanhauwaert, "Analyse de Surete par Injection de Fautes Dans un Environnement de Prototypage a Base de FPGA?, PhD thesis, Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble, 2008

 Nowroth, D.; Polian, I.; Becker, B., "A study of cognitive resilience in a JPEG compressor," Dependable Systems and Networks With FTCS and DCC, 2008. DSN 2008. IEEE International Conference on , vol., no., pp.32-41, 24-27 June 2008

Year 2007 : 5 citations

 Silvio André Misera, "Simulation von Fehlern in digitalen Schaltungen mit SystemC?, Doktor der Ingenieurwissenschaften, Von der Fakultät für Mathematik, Naturwissenschaften und Informatik der Brandenburgischen Technischen Universität Cottbus, 05. Dezember 2007

 Damian Nowroth, "Untersuchungen von akzeptablen Fehlern in einem JPEG-Kompressor?, Diplomarbeit, Albert-Ludwigs-Universit¨at Freiburg, Institut f¨ur Informatik, 18. Oktober 2007

 David de Andrés Martínez, "Speeding-Up Model-Based Fault Injection of Deep-Submicron Cmos Fault Models Through Dynamic and Partially Reconfigurable FPGAS?, PhD Thesis, University of Valencia, 2007

 E. Touloupis, J. A. Flint, V. A. Chouliaras, and D. Ward, "Study of the Effects of SEU-Induced Faults on a Pipeline Protected Microprocessor?, IEEE Transactions on Computers, Vol. 56, issue 12, December 2007.

 O. Faurax, A. Tria, L. Freund, F. Bancel, T. Muntean, "PAFI: Outil d'analyse de circuit pour l'accélération de l'injection de fautes en simulation?, Journées Nationales du Réseau Doctoral en Microélectronique, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, 14, 15e 16 Maio 2007.

Year 2006 : 3 citations

 Roshan G. Ragel, "Architectural Support for Security and Reliability in Embedded Processors?, PhD thesis, The University of New South Wales, Austrália, 2006

 S Tixeuil, LM Silva, W Hoarau, "An Overview of Existing Tools for Fault-Injection and Dependability Benchmarking in Grids?, Second CoreGRID Workshop on Grid and Peer to Peer Systems, 2006

 William Hoarau and Sébastien Tixeuil, "Easy fault injection and stress testing with fail-fci?, Technical Report, LRI-CNRS 8623 et INRIA Grand Large, January 2006.

Year 2005 : 4 citations

 William Hoarau Sebastien Tixeuil Fabien Vauchelles, "Easy Fault Injection and Stress Testing with FAIL-FCI?, Technical Report nº 1421, Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique, UMR 8623 ( CNRS-Université Paris-Sud), 2005.

 William Hoarau, Sébastien Tixeuil, and Fabien Vauchelles, "Fault Injection in Distributed Java Applications", Technical Report nº 1420, Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique, UMR 8623 ( CNRS-Université Paris-Sud), 2005

 Jonny Vinter, "On the Effects of Soft Errors in Embedded Control Systems?, PhD Thesis, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, 2005, ISBN 91-7291-630-3

 Cristian Constantinescu, Intel Corporation, "Dependability Benchmarking Using Environmental Test Tools?, Proceedings of IEEE Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, RAMS 2005.

Year 2004 : 6 citations

 1. B Bastien, "A Technique for Performing Fault Injection in System Level Simulations for Dependability Assessment", MSc Thesis, University of Virginia-USA, Jan 2004.

 2. Babak Rahbaran, Andreas Steininger, Thomas Handl, "Built-in Fault Injection in Hardware - The FIDYCO Example?, Second IEEE International Workshop on Electronic Design, Test and Applications (DELTA 04), 2004.

 3. G. Pintér and I. Majzik, "Impact of Statechart Implementation Techniques on the Effectiveness of Fault Detection Mechanisms?, Proceedings of the 30th IEEE EUROMICRO Conference (EUROMICRO"04), Rennes " France, 1. - 3. September 2004.

 4. H. R. Zarandi, S. G. Miremadi, S. Hessabi, A. Ejlali, "A Mixed-Mode Simulation-based Environment to Test and Dependability Assessment of HDL Models?, in the Proceedings of International Conference on Embedded Systems and Applications (ESA 2004), USA, June 2004.

 5. William Hoarau, "FAIL - FAult Injection Language?, Rapport de stage pour le DEA ID, Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique, Université de Paris-Sud, 2004.

 6. D. Gil, J. Garcia, and P. Gil, "Analysis of the influence of processor hidden registers on the accuracy of fault injection techniques? Ninth IEEE International High-Level Design Validation and Test Workshop. 10-12 Nov. 2004.

Year 2003 : 10 citations

 1. Zarandi, H.R.; Miremadi, S.G.; Ejlali, A.; "Fault injection into verilog models for dependability evaluation of digital systems" Parallel and Distributed Computing, 2003. Proceedings. Second International Symposium on , 13-14 Oct. 2003, Pages:281 - 287.

 2. Jean Arlat, Yves Crouzet, Johan Karlsson, Peter Folkesson, Emmerich Fuchs, Günther Leber "Comparison of Physical and Software-Implemented Fault Injection Techniques" IEEE Transactions on Computers, Vol 52, No. 9, September 2003, pp. 1115-1133.

 3. Andreas Steininger, Babak Rahbaran, Thomas Handl, "Built-In Fault Injectors - The logical Continuation of BIST?" Proc. of First Workshop on Intelligent Solutions in Embedded Systems (WISES), 2003. pp. 187-196. Reserach Report 56/2003, Real-Time Systems Research Group at the Vienna University of Technology.

 4. A. Ejlali, S. G. Miremadi, H. Zarandi, G. Asadi, "A hybrid fault injection approach based on simulation and emulation co-operation", EEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, International Performance and Dependability Symposium, DSN-IPDS 2003, San Francisco, CA, USA, pp. 479-488, June 22-25, 2003.

 5. Kaufman L. M., Salinas M. H., Williams R. D., Giras T. C., "Integrate hardware/software device testing for use in a safety-critical application", Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, pp. 132-137, 2003.

 6. P. Fortuna, "Exploiting Hybrid Fault Injection Sessions for Maximum Diagnosis and Fault Coverage Levels", Fast Abstract at the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN2003), pp. A40-42, 2003

 7. A Pataricza, G Pinter, "Data Mining in Fault Injection", Proc. International IEEE Workshop on Design and Diagnostics of Electronic Circuits and Systems (DDECS), 14-16 Apr , Poznan-Poland, 2003.

 8. Constantinescu C., "Experimental evaluation of error-detection mechanisms", IEEE Transactions on Reliability, 52 (1): pp. 53-57, March 2003.

 9. Peter Folkesson, Joakim Aidemark, snd Jonny Vinter, "Assessment and Application of Scan-Chain Implemented Fault Injection?, Technical Report 03-21, (27 pages) Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Computer Engineering, Göteborg, Sweden, 2003.

 10. Markus Jochim, "Automatische Erzeugung und Bewertung virtueller Duplexsysteme zur Erkennung von Betriebsfehlern in Mikroprozessoren?, Doktor der Naturwissenschaften, Fachbereich 6 des Standorts Essen der Universit¨at Duisburg-Essen am 27.03.2003

Year 2002 : 6 citations

 1. B. Floering, B. Brothers, Z. Kalbarczyk, R. Iyer, "An adaptive architecture for monitoring and failure analysis of high-speed networks", EEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN-2002, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, pp. 69-78, June 23-26, 2002.

 2. M. Jochim, "Detecting processos hardware faults by means of automatically generated virtual duplex systems", EEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN-2002, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, pp. 399-407, June 23-26, 2002.

 3. Yangyang Yu, Barry W. Johnson, A Perspective on the State of Research on Fault Injection Techniques, Center for Safety Critical Systems Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineer and Computer Science The University of Virginia Technical Report prepared for U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, May 2002.

 4. Steininger A, Scherrer C "Identifying efficient combinations of error detection mechanisms based on results of fault injection experiments" IEEE T COMPUT 51 (2): 235-239 FEB 2002 .

 5. Manoel Rodríguez Moreno, "Technologie d'empaquetage pour la sureté de fonctionnement des systemes temps-réel", Thése présentée au Laboratoire d'Analyse et d'Architecture des Sys-té-mes du Centre Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (LAAS/ CNRS), en vue d'obtenir le titre de Docteur de l'Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, numéro d'ordre 1898, Année 2002.

 6. Yangyang Yu, Barry W. Johnson, "A Perspective on the State of Research on Fault Injection Techniques", University of Virginia, Center for Safety Critical Systems. Technical Report UVA-CSCS-FIT-001. May 2002.

Year 2001 : 2 citations

 1. Joakim Aidemark, Jonny Vinter, Peter Folkesson, Johan Karlsson"GOOFI: Generic Object-Oriented Fault In jection Tool" Proceedings of the 2001 International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, 1-4 July 2001, Göteborg, Sweden, IEEE Computer Society, ISBN 0-7695-1101-5, pp. 83-88.

 2. K Buchacker, V Sieh, " Framework for testing the fault-tolerance of systems including OS and network aspects", Proceedings of the 6th IEEE International Symposium on High-Assurance Systems Engineering: Special Topic: Impact of Networking, Boca Raton, Florida-USA, ISBN:0-7695-1275-5, IEEE 2001.pp. 95-105.

Year 2000 : 2 citations

 1. Dan Teodosiu "End-To-End Fault Containment In Scalable Shared-Memory Multiprocessors" PhD. Thesis, Stanford University, USA, July 2000.

 2. Cristian Constantinescu, "Teraflops supercomputer: Architecture and validation of the fault tolerance mechanisms?, IEEE Transactions On Computers, vol. 49, no. 9, Setembro 2000, pp. 886-894, ISSN 0018-9340.

Year 1999 : 4 citations

 1. Constantinescu, C.; "Using physical and simulated fault injection to evaluate error detection mechanisms" Pacific Rim International Symposium on Dependable Computing, Proceedings. 1999 , 16-17 Dec. 1999, Pages:186 - 192, IEEE Computer Society.

 2. Sosnowski, J.; Gawkowski, P. "Tracing fault effects in system environment" EUROMICRO Conference, 1999. Proceedings. 25th , Volume: 1 , 8-10 Sept. 1999, Pages:481 - 486 vol.1.

 3. R. J. Martínez, P. J. Gil, G. Martín, C. Pérez, J.J. Serrano. "Experimental Validation of High-Speed Fault-Tolerant Systems Using Physical Fault Injection". Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerant Systems. Volume 12.A. Avizienis, H. Kopetz, J.C. Laprie Eds. IEEE Computer Society. ISBN 0-7695-0284-9, pp. Pág 249-264, 1999.

 4. Cristian Constantinescu, "Assesssing Error Detection Coverage by Simulated Fault Injection?, Third European Dependable Computing Conference, Praga, República Checa, Setembro de 1999, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1667, Spriger-Verlag, pp. 161-170, 1999;

Year 1998 : 4 citations

 1. V. Sieh, "Effiziente Erstellung und Auswertung von Rechner-modellen zur detaillierten Zuverlassigkeitsanalyse", PhD Thesis, Technischen Fakultät der Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 1998.

 2. Cristian Constantinescu "Validation of the Fault/Error Handling Mechanisms of the Teraflop Computer" Proceedings of the 28th Annual International Symposium on Fault-Tolerant Computing Symposium, FTCS-28, June 1998, Munich, Germany, IEEE Computer Society Press, pp 382-389, ISBN 0-8186-8470-4.

 3. P. Folkesson, Sven Svensson, Johan Karlsson "A Comparison of Simulation Based and Scan Chain Implemented Fault Injection" Proceedings of the 28th Annual International Symposium on Fault-Tolerant Computing Symposium, FTCS-28, June 1998, Munich, Germany, IEEE Computer Society Press, pp 284-293, ISBN 0-8186-8470-4.

 4. J.Karlsson, P. Folkesson, J.Arlat, Y.Crouzet, G.Leber, J.Reisinger "Application of Three Physical Fault Injection Techniques to the Experimental Assessment of the MARS architecture" Dependable Computing for Critical Applications 5, R.K.Iyer, M.Morganti, W.K.Fuchs,V.Gligor (Eds), IEEE Computer Society Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8186-7803-8 , pp. 267-287.

Year 1997 : 7 citations

 1. A.Steininger, C. Scherrer "On Finding an Optimal Combination of Error Detection Mechanisms Based on Results of Fault Injection Experiments" Proceedings of the 27th Annual International Symposium on Fault-Tolerant Computing Symposium, FTCS-27, 24-27 June 1997, Seattle, Washington, EUA, IEEE Computer Society Press, pp 238-247, ISBN 0-8186-7831-3.

 2. Volkmar Sieh, Oliver Tschäche, Frank Balbach, "System Dependability Analysis using VHDL Models with Integrated Fault Descriptions", Proc. 8th European Workshop on Dependable Computing, EWDC-8, Goeteborg (Sweden), 1997.

 3. Jérome Boué "Test de la tolerance aux fautes par injection de fautes dans des modèles de simulation VHDL" Thèse de doctorat de L'Institut Nationale Polytechnique de Toulouse, 1997, Rapport LAAS nº 97503, LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse, França.

 4. Uwe Wildner "CASC - Compiler Assisted Self-Checking of Structural Integrity" Tese de doutoramento, Institut für Informatik, Universität Potsdam, Rep. Federal da Alemanha, Outubro 1997.

 5. V. Sieh, O. Tschäche, F. Balbach "VERIFY: Evaluation of Reliability Using VHDL-Models with Embedded Fault Descriptions" Proceedings of the 27th Annual International Symposium on Fault-Tolerant Computing Symposium, FTCS-27, 24-27 June 1997, Seattle, Washington, EUA, IEEE Computer Society Press, pp 32-36, ISBN 0-8186-7831-3.

 6. V. Sieh, O. Tschäche, F. Balbach "Comparing Different Fault Models Using VERIFY" Proc. 6th IFIP Working Conference on Dependable Computing for Critical Applications (DCCA-6), Grainau, Alemanha, Março 5-7, 1997, IEEE Computer Socienty Press, ISBN 0-8186-8009-1, pp. 63-80.

 7. M. Dal Cin, W. Hohl e V. Sieh, "Hardware-Supported Fault Tolerance for Multiprocessorsâ?, Proceedings of the 14. ITG/GI-Fachtagung Architektur von Rechensystemen, Rostock, Alemanha, VDE-Verlag, Setembro de 1997, pp 13-22;

Year 1996 : 2 citations

 1. V. Sieh, O. Tschäche e F. Balbach, "VHDL based Fault Injection with VERIFY?, Universidade de Erlangen, Alemanha, IMMD III, Internal Report 5/96, Agosto de 1996;

 2. Peter Folkesson, "Experimental Validation of a Fault-Tolerant System Using Physical Fault Injection?, Technical Report no. 239L, Chalmers University of Technology, Gotemburgo, Suécia, 1996;

Year 1995 : 4 citations

 1. Randell, Littlewood, Laprie, Kopetz (ed) "Predictably Dependable Computing Systems", Springer Verlag, 1995, ISBN 3-540-59334-9 (pág. 369).

 2. Jean Arlat, "Tutorial on Tools for Analytical and experimental Evaluation of dependable Computerâ?, 1st IEEE International Computer Performance and Dependability Symposium (IPDS'95), Erlangen, Alemanha, Abril 1995.

 3. J. Karlsson, P. Folkesson, J. Arlat, Y. Crouzet, G. Leber, J. Reisinger, "Integration and Comparison of Three Physical Fault Injection Techniques", Predictably Dependable Computing Systems (PDCS), 1995, pp. 615-642.

 4. J. Arlat, Y. Crouzet, J. Karlsson, P. Folkesson, and G. Leber, "Evaluation of the MARS Architecture by means of Three Physical Fault Injection Techniques," in 4th International Workshop on Evaluation Techniques for Dependable Systems (ETDS `95), (San Antonio, TX, USA) October 1995.