SABRE: A bio-inspired fault-tolerant electronic architecture

P. Bremner*, Y. Liu, M. Samie, G. Dragffy, A. G. Pipe, G. Tempesti, J. Timmis, A. M. Tyrrell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (SciVal)


As electronic devices become increasingly complex, ensuring their reliable, fault-free operation is becoming correspondingly more challenging. It can be observed that, in spite of their complexity, biological systems are highly reliable and fault tolerant. Hence, we are motivated to take inspiration for biological systems in the design of electronic ones. In SABRE (self-healing cellular architectures for biologically inspired highly reliable electronic systems), we have designed a bio-inspired fault-tolerant hierarchical architecture for this purpose. As in biology, the foundation for the whole system is cellular in nature, with each cell able to detect faults in its operation and trigger intra-cellular or extra-cellular repair as required. At the next level in the hierarchy, arrays of cells are configured and controlled as function units in a transport triggered architecture (TTA), which is able to perform partial-dynamic reconfiguration to rectify problems that cannot be solved at the cellular level. Each TTA is, in turn, part of a larger multi-processor system which employs coarser grain reconfiguration to tolerate faults that cause a processor to fail. In this paper, we describe the details of operation of each layer of the SABRE hierarchy, and how these layers interact to provide a high systemic level of fault tolerance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016003
JournalBioinspiration and Biomimetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Animals
  • Biomimetic Materials
  • Cell Communication/physiology
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Electronics/instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans


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