Altera adds functional-safety design support for IEC 61508 compliance

May 18, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Altera has introduced product and tool features that, it says, will speed development of IEC 61508-compliant designs; the offering includes with certified 28 nm FPGAs, SoCs, plus tool flows; silicon, IP and tool are certified by TÜV Rheinland.

Altera has announced the latest version of its Industrial Functional Safety Data Package (Ver. 3), - - for systems designers using Altera field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The safety pack provides TÜV Rheinland-certified toolflows, IP and devices including Cyclone V FPGAs, enabling faster time for 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 fulfill 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.)

In addition, as the complexity of safety designs increases, the need to provide advanced safety functions and to integrate safety functionality with the application, has led to the need for advanced certified toolflows, such as Altera Safety Design Partitioning toolflow, offered in this latest version of the Functional Safety Data Package. This partitioning toolflow gives designers the ability 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 that this 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, “With the release of our third generation of our Functional Safety Data Package, customers can continue to confidently use Altera's latest devices and toolflows to address the challenges they are seeing today in designing safety systems.”

Altera industrial automation and functional safety;

Altera has announced availability of the Cyclone V-based SafeFlex Functional Safety board from partner NewTec GmbH, which satisfies the requirement for IEC 61508 to