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Functional Safety

Robustness, reliability and safety of end-products is becoming ever more important. In some application segments these requirements are formalized and mandatory, while in others this is implemented to differentiate the product, and take the step from a good product to an excellent product.

The standards for functional safety depend on the market that is targeted. Many standards support multiple levels of rigorousness, which are applied depending on the likelihood and severity of the hazard. The methods of addressing hazards range from detecting single failures and putting the system into a safe state, to full redundancy where failures should not only be detected but also corrected without any interruption or degradation of service.
IEC 60730
Levels: A, B, C
Equipment for household, such as controls for heating, air conditioning. The equipment may use electricity, gas, oil, solid fuel, solar thermal energy.
IEC 61508 (SIL)
Levels: 1, 2, 3, 4
Active safety systems such as fire suppression systems, switches in a tank containing flammable liquids.
ISO 26262 (ASIL)
Levels: A, B, C, D
 Automotive vehicles up to 3500 kg

In addition to describing what must be tested and to what extent, the standards may also mandate development methods. This may include using qualified development tools. For microcontroller-based applications, one of the tools to be qualified is the C-compiler. Microchip and partners of Microchip offers qualified compilers, listed below:

Microchip XC8 compiler ISO 26262 up to ASIL D
Microchip XC16 compiler ISO 26262 up to ASIL D
Microchip XC32 compiler ISO 26262 up to ASIL D
IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM ISO 26262 up to ASIL D
Microchip offers a number of products that enable system-level compliance to functional safety. This means that they have integrated features, qualified test libraries, safety manuals, and FMEDA reports, depending on the standard and the level of safety they support. All these items make it easier to develop applications that conform to the functional safety standards, and thereby reduce the work and cost of the final product compliance.
Class B library Yes Yes Yes
SIL [lvl] library
ASIL [lvl] library
AutoSAR/MCAL Yes Yes
Application notes Yes Yes Yes
Safety manual Available upon request.
Contact your local sales rep.
Available upon request.
Contact your local sales rep.
FMEDA reports Available upon request.
Contact your local sales rep.
Capacitive Touch libraries* Available upon request.
Contact your local sales rep.
Safety qualified compilers XC8 XC16 XC32
Code coverage tools
Available from third party providers such as LDRA

*There are turnkey Capacitive Touch controllers available, such as the AT42QT1481