Development tools for safety-critical applications

June 17, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Texas Instruments and Hitex have introduced the SafeTI Hitex Safety Kit, which provides a platform capable of injecting faults, profiling run-time of fault diagnostics and observing response in real-time to help evaluate safety-critical designs.

The Safety Kit enables developers to evaluate SafeTI components for use in their designs requiring compliance to functional safety standards such as ISO26262 and IEC 61508. The kit provides an example system with capabilities for hardware fault injection, application and run-time profiling of fault diagnostics and system response monitoring in real-time. The hardware platform allows customers to evaluate the individual TI hardware components, either Hercules TMS570LS31x microcontrollers (MCUs) or RM48x MCUs and TPS65381-Q1 power management integrated circuit (PMIC) – with TI’s Hercules SafeTI Diagnostic Library.

The kit has a host-based graphical-user interface (GUI) that provides capability to inject faults, apply diagnostics, profile run-time of fault diagnostics, time-stamp system response and set configurations; and communicates with the development board to request status information enabling visualisation of system response timing. A second MCU on the evaluation board acts as test control and monitor unit, and manages communication with the GUI. The kit includes an on-board JTAG emulator, accelerometer, CAN transceiver, LCD module, temperature sensor and host/debug interface with a USB HUB controller and a serial communication port converter. It uses an industry-standard DIMM form factor with 100-pin connector footprint for plugging into select TI motor control kits. Certain non-TI third-party debug tools gain access with a 20-pin external JTAG header for further design flexibility.

The SafeTI software framework includes:

- HALCoGen, a GUI-based code-generation tool

- SafeTI Hercules Diagnostic Library, offering a simple interface and a framework for enabling safety diagnostics/features recommended by the safety manuals of the Hercules MCU and the TPS65381-Q1 PMIC.

- Evaluation version of SAFERTOS from Wittenstein High Integrity Systems.

- source code for the demo application, the monitoring application and the diagnostic library.

- the latest version of TI’s Eclipse-based Code Composer Studio IDE for use with the emulator.

The kit costs $499 for either the Hercules RM48x Safety Kit for medical and industrial designs, or for the Hercules TMS570LS31x MCU-based Safety Kit for automotive and transportation