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The value of MISRA-compliant software

John Day

John Day

Posted May 8, 2012

HCC-Embedded ( recently released a version of its MISRA-C:2004-compliant TCP/IP stack for Texas Instruments’ Hercules ARM microcontrollers. The stack combines MISRA with HCC’s own coding standard to create a concise C language subset capable of “clear and robust code without ambiguities,” and thus suitable for many safety critical embedded applications, according to the company. Last December HCC announced a point-to-point module for use with the stack, which is now available for delivery on TMS570 and RM4x microcontrollers as well as on many other 32-bit MCUs.

“We understand the chip is only the beginning of the safety design process. Our goal is to provide a complete system solution with software,” says TI’s Hercules safety MCU product line manager Dev Pradhan. “We’re excited to work with HCC to deliver the MISRA-compliant TCP/IP stack for our Hercules safety MCUs to deliver faster processing and certified solutions.”

The Motor Industry Software Reliability Association (MISRA) created MISRA C and MISRA C++ coding standards to deal with language constructs in C and C++ programming languages. MISRA rules help make code more readable and thus make issues in the code more apparent. MISRA rules can also help steer developers away from code constructs known to cause issues.

MISRA compliance is just one metaphorical link in the application development chain, but it’s one that generates significant interest among engineers. A quick Google search brings up 11 tool vendors that mention if not feature MISRA compliance: Coverity, HCC, Gimpel Software, GrammaTech, Klocwork, LDRA, Mathworks, Parasoft, PRQA/Programming Research, SciTools, and Vector Software. Let me know if I’ve left anyone out.

And if you’re involved in application development/verification, have you used MISRA-compliant tools? Does your organization mandate them? Are there any you’re especially happy with? Do the available tools lack important functionality? Let me know.

MISRA-C:2004, Gimpel Software, HCC-Embedded, Texas Instruments, C and C++ programming languages, TMS570, SciTools, LDRA, RM4x, Hercules ARM microcontrollers, Coverity, Vector Software, PRQA/Programming Research, GrammaTech, MathWorks, Motor Industry Software Reliability Association (MISRA), HCC, Klocwork, TCP/IP stack, Parasoft, 32-bit MCUs

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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