Firmware and Hardware Reliability

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Firmware and Hardware Reliability Analysis using Markov and non-Markov Processes

Most modern real-time systems employ firmware. Firmware is implementation of software on hardware. It needs to satisfy both software and hardware reliability and quality requirements.  The basic objective of any real-time system is to provide reliable service with no or very little service interruptions. As a matter of fact, a typical telecommunication switching system's downtime is required not to exceed 3 minutes in a year. Such highly available systems require that hardware and software reliability be built in the system during design and test phases of product development.  Typical 5- nine or 99.999% reliability can be assessed for a product using Markov chain and other non-Markov techniques. 


  • Use of advanced failure tree analysis methodology and tools for assessing reliability of products based on techniques employed by NASA
  • Use of sophisticated State Transitions Diagrams  and Markov models for prediction of system downtimes 
  • Use of Reliability Block Diagrams (RBDs) for prediction of system availability.

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 Key Benefits

  • Firmware and hardware reliability analysis of a product helps in obtaining reliability objectives
  • Studying the architecture of a product from availability point of view helps in making the architecture more robust and in establishing a verifiable design
  • Highly reliable system helps in reducing operational cost and increased customer satisfaction.   


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Copyright 2004 Software Reliability Research L.L.C
Last Modified May 1, 2004