Karl Greb (Texas Instruments) and Riccardo Mariani (Yogitech SpA)
5/2/2011 3:04 PM EDT
To manage systematic and random failures, vendors have applied functional safety techniques at the system level for decades. As the capability to integrate multiple system-level functions into a single component has increased, there’s been a desire to apply those same practices at the semiconductor component or even subcomponent level.
Although the state of the art in functional safety is not yet well aligned with the state of the art in semiconductors, recent work on the IEC 61508 second edition and ISO 26262 draft standards have brought improvements. Many challenges remain, however.
Texas Instruments and Yogitech, a company that verifies and designs mixed-signal system-on-chip solutions, are working together to solve the challenges in standards committees as well as on new TMS570 microcontroller designs. (See Figure 1 below for an example of current-generation designs.)
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