Renasas introduces new package for safety systems for industrial equipment

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced that it has obtained IEC 61508 (Functional Safety) certification for the RX631, RX63N Safety Package, featuring a robust self-diagnostic software and a safety manual for microcontrollers (MCUs) necessary to implement functional safety in industrial equipment. An RX631, RX63N Safety Solution Evaluation Kit will be available in September 2014, providing a hardware evaluation board with the RX63N MCU, the evaluation version of the self-diagnostic software library, and a Users Guide.

“Renesas is committed to the quality and the inherent functional safety of our devices, and we understand the complexity that comes with stringent standards like the IEC 61508,” said Ritesh Tyagi, vice president of marketing, Renesas Electronics America. “Our Functional Safety Package solution provides customers one less thing to worry about, reducing their risk in certifying their own safety solutions and allowing them to focus on their core areas of expertise.”

Functional safety has become a growing reality for factories, equipment manufacturers, and automation OEMs to reduce economic losses due to equipment failures production losses, and more importantly threats to personnel safety. The European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC1 mandates support for functional safety, and efforts to bring relevant industrial equipment into compliance with functional safety standards such as IEC 61508 have been moving forward. Functional safety is now implemented on multiple industrial equipment such as industrial motor drives, control equipment, industrial networking equipment as well as sensors.

Compliance with the IEC 61508 functional safety standard not only requires system designers to perform tasks referred to as safety analysis, such as failure analysis of safety-related hardware and study of failure diagnostic methods and their diagnostic yields, but also to meet defined regulations aimed at reducing specification and design errors in the development process of safety-related systems that can result in malfunctions. In particular, maintaining conformance at all stages of the software development process is a key issue.

Of the tasks that need to be performed by system developers, such as safety analysis and study of failure diagnostic methods and diagnostic yields, Renesas has already carried out the aspects related to the MCU. For the testing process, Renesas leveraged IAR Systems’ IAR Embedded Workbench for RX certified for Functional Safety, which fulfilled the requirement for proof of tools safety certification. It offers a complete and high-performance C/C++compiler and debugger toolchain together with comprehensive documentation. In addition, the Safety Manual includes the vital information such as FIT rates and SFF (Safe Failure Fraction) computation that can be passed on to a certifying body to reduce complexity in conformance.

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