Self-assembling Circuits with Autonomous Fault Handling
Nicholas J. Macias and Lisa J.K. Durbeck
from Proceedings of the 2002 NASA/DoD Conference on Evolvable Hardware (EH-2002) Copyright© 2002 IEEE
This conference was sponsored by NASA and DARPA
This paper reports on the results of our recent NASA SBIR contract, "Autonomous Self-Repairing Circuits," in which we developed a novel approach to fault-tolerant circuit synthesis utilizing a self-configurable hardware platform. The approach was based on the use of atomic components called Supercells. These Supercells perform several functions in the building of a desired target circuit: fault detection, fault isolation, configuration of new Supercells, determination of inter-cell wiring paths, and implementation of the final target circuit. By placing these tasks under the control of the Supercells themselves, the resulting system requires minimal external intervention. In particular, for a given target circuit, a fixed configuration string can be used to configure the system, regardless of the location of faults in the underlying hardware. This is because the configuration string does not directly implement the final circuit. Rather, it implements a self-organizing system, and that system then dynamically implements the desired target circuit.