Professor Iyer is interested in developing and analyzing techniques for developing secure and reliable systems. He leads several projects in this area. One project is the reconfigurable Reliability and Security Engine (RSE). A common processor-level framework that can provide application-aware reliability and security is attractive and timely. The RSE project at Illinois is developing a common framework to provide a variety of application-aware techniques for error detection, masking of security vulnerabilities, and recovery under one umbrella in a uniform, low-overhead manner. Hardware-implemented error-detection and security mechanisms are embedded as modules in the hardware-level framework, called the RSE, which has been designed as an integral part of a superscalar microprocessor. The embedded hardware modules execute in parallel with the core pipeline. The goal of the project is to provide application-aware runtime checking techniques to guard against both accidental failures and malicious attacks.
Another project Professor Iyer leads is DEPEND, which is developing a framework for designing dependable systems. DEPEND is a simulation-based environment that supports the design of systems for fault tolerance and high availability. It takes as inputs both VHDL and C++ system description and produces as output dependability characteristics including fault coverage, availability, and performance. At the core of DEPEND are simulation engines supported by a fault injector, a set of fault dictionaries, and component libraries. The fault injector provides mechanisms to inject faults. The component libraries contain model-building blocks with detailed functional descriptions and characteristics. The fault dictionaries embody possible fault effects of the given fault types, devices, and circuits.