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Altera sol'n fast-tracks IEC 61508-compliant designs

Posted: 19 May 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Field programmable gate arrays?

Altera unveiled Version 3 of its Industrial Functional Safety Data Package for systems designers using Altera field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The safety pack provides TUV Rheinland-certified toolflows, IP and devices including Cyclone V FPGAs, enabling faster time to market for industrial safety solutions to IEC 61508 up to Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL3).

Under industrial safety mandates, industrial equipment must be certified to ensure electrical, electronic or programmable electronic systems that carry out safety functions meet industry-standard safety guidelines. Generally, such products must fulfil requirements of the IEC 61508 standard to safety integrity level 3 (SIL 3), and meet the ISO 13849 standard to performance level category 4 (PL e Cat 4.).

Offered in this version of the Functional Safety Data Package, the Altera Safety Design Partitioning toolflow enables designers to separate the safe and non-safe portions of the design, allowing user updates of the non-safe portion with minimal safety re-certification effort.

"Without certified toolflows such as those Altera's safety package provides, customers are left with the challenge of certifying the tools and devices themselves, which require they use older versions of the tools and subsequently, older less-capable technology," said Roger May, system architect and Functional Safety lead in the Altera Industrial Business Unit.

Altera also announces the availability the Cyclone V-based SafeFlex Functional Safety board from partner NewTec, which was demonstrated at the SPS IC Drives event in Nuremberg, in November 2014 and satisfies the requirement for IEC 61508 to SIL 3in addition to ISO 13849 to PL e Cat 4. The board and associated documentation and reference design will allow systems designers who are new to safety to understand best industry practices when implementing safety systems up to SIL3 and PL e Cat 4 on Altera FPGAs, allowing customers to accelerate their designs.

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