About Severe

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At an increasing rate micro computers are embedded into everyday objects, buildings and vehicles. The benefit for users arises especially out of the interconnection of these micro computers. These networked embedded systems have to be as small and cheap as possible. 

Nevertheless the emerging systems and networks shall be low-maintenance systems. However miniaturization and cost-cutting lead to less reliable hardware, in turn causing higher maintenance costs. These computers may fail completely (persistent error), but may also temporarily calculate incorrect (transient error), e.g. through heat, mechanical stress or radio interference. Incorrect calculations are thereby much harder to compensate than total failures.

So far the industry faced these problems with redundancy and more complex hardware. But this contradicts the aims of miniaturization and cost-cutting. Since prevention of such errors is impossible, SEVERE develops the combination of hardware and software in a way, that incorrect calculations and erroneous data can be tolerated. This means, that systems are able to recover from this type of errors in a fixed amount of time, without human intervention.

To achieve this, the interface between hardware and software has to be reconsidered completely. Furthermore algorithms and protocols have to explicitly consider the possibility of failures in calculations and program execution.