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An industry first in functional safety

John Day

John Day

Posted Sep 6, 2012
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I’m often if not always skeptical when a company says its product or service is an industry “first,” so I wanted some verification when Freescale Semiconductor said that its MP5643L microcontroller is the first such device to be certified by an independent accredited assessor (www.exida.com) as compliant with the relevant MCU requirements of the automotive functional safety standard ISO 26262.

But Freescale put up an image of the certificate (FREESCALE 1108067 P0026 C001), provided a link to the Safety Automation Element List on exida’s website and included in announcing the certification a quote from exida principal partner Rainer Faller:

“Freescale’s MPC5643L is the first microcontroller to achieve a formal ISO 26262 certificate for ASIL D functional safety capability by an independent third-party accredited certification body. The certificate is issued based on a successful assessment of the product design and applied development and production processes against all requirements and work product definitions of ISO 26262 identified as applicable to this microcontroller part. Freescale has done an excellent job with this product.”

This would appear to be a rather big deal given the importance of ISO 26262 to automotive functional safety application development – systems such as electric power steering, active suspension, antilock braking systems and radar-based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). It’s easy to say “we’re compliant” with ISO 26262 but more difficult now to prove it since an independent standard has been set.

It also seems like rather a big deal to achieve. Mark O’Donnell, Freescale’s product manager for chassis and safety MCUs, said a major corporate effort was required; one that Freescale has been working on for several years.

Over 50 work products were provided during the assessment and on-site audits. exida assessed the MPC5643L’s safety case, assessed and audited the development processes used for the MCU, and assessed the failure modes effects and diagnostic analysis (FMEDA) to confirm that it satisfies the metrics required for ASIL D: single point failure metric (SPFM), latent fault metric (LFM) and probabilistic metric for random hardware failures (PPMHF). In addition, exida assessed the device’s hardware design, implementation and verification activities.

Are functional safety MCUs from other vendors in the certification pipeline?

MPC5643L, antilock braking systems, ASIL-D, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Freescale Semiconductor, ISO 26262, electric power steering, exida

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News (johndayautomotivelectronics.com) 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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