The ROBUS-2 Protocol Processor (RPP) is a custom-designed hardware component implementing the functionality of the ROBUS-2 fault-tolerant communication system. The Reliable Optical Bus (ROBUS) is the core communication system of the Scalable Processor-Independent Design for Enhanced Reliability (SPIDER), a general-purpose faulttolerant integrated modular architecture currently under development at NASA Langley Research Center.
ROBUS is a time-division multiple access (TDMA) broadcast communication system with medium access control by means of time-indexed communication schedule. ROBUS-2 is a developmental version of the ROBUS providing guaranteed faulttolerant services to the attached processing elements (PEs), in the presence of a bounded number of faults. These services include message broadcast (Byzantine Agreement), dynamic communication schedule update, time reference (clock synchronization), and distributed diagnosis (group membership). ROBUS also features fault-tolerant startup and restart capabilities. ROBUS-2 tolerates internal as well as PE faults, and incorporates a dynamic self-reconfiguration capability driven by the internal diagnostic system.
ROBUS consists of RPPs connected to each other by a lower-level physical communication network. The RPP has a pipelined architecture and the design is parameterized in the behavioral and structural domains. The design of the RPP enables the bus to achieve a PE-message throughput that approaches the available bandwidth at the physical layer.