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Safety software package aimed at industrial automation

Posted: 27 Nov 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Renesas Electronics? MCU? safety software package? control system?

Renesas Electronics Corp. has unleashed a functional safety software package for its 32bit RX631 and RX63N MCU Groups. According to the firm, the solution provides diagnostic software for the industry-leading RX CPU core and its internal memory, and a detailed safety manual to significantly reduce development time for designs that need to conform to stringent safety directives for industrial equipment such as safety controllers, programmable logic controllers, industrial motor drives and safety sensors.

With the demand to improve safety in the workplace and reduce operating costs, the industry has initiated the need to implement functional safety standards according to IEC61508 to design inherent safety for control systems and equipment.

To conform to functional safety, system manufacturers need to perform safety analysis not just at the system level, but also down to the device level. Safety analysis includes failure mode analysis, consideration of diagnostic methods, and assessment of its diagnostic coverage. Doing these tests and trying to get detailed test analysis from the device manufacturer is a significant burden.

Renesas' safety solution for the RX631 and RX63N Group of MCUs has removed this burden by providing a self-test diagnostic software library and a complete safety manual.

For the functional safety qualification, a comprehensive analysis targeting the IEC61508 functional safety standard is performed and the result is published in the safety manual. The safety manual includes the RX MCU's hardware safety mechanism, the diagnostic methods of software with its diagnostic coverage, and the safety parameter based on safety analysis for each function part of the Additionally, a diagnostic software library for the CPU core, RAM and flash ROM is present. Since the diagnostic coverage of the CPU core has undergone comprehensive fault simulation tests, the design solution makes it easy to show the basis of the coverage estimation and enables effective system integration.

The functional safety solution is compliant with Renesas' RX631 and RX63N MCUs. The RX631 and RX63N MCUs are high-performance, 32bit MCUs that operate at 1.65DMIPS/MHz, and include a floating point unit (FPU), hardware multipliers and MAC, flash operation without wait states, memory sizes up to 2MB of on-chip flash, and a rich set of peripherals such as multiple timers, high speed analog, Ethernet connectivity and built-in safety-related functions, detailed the firm. By using the functional safety solution, system manufacturers can easily apply functional safety to their systems using the RX631 and RX63N MCUs. Renesas is also planning to expand this safety solution to the company's other RX family MCUs.

Renesas' new Functional Safety Solution will be sold under a software license model, and will be available in February 2014. (Availability is subject to change without notice.)

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