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Renesas Electronics Introduces an IEC 61508 TÜV-Certified RX631, 63N Safety Package to Accelerate Implementation of Safety Systems for Industrial Equipment

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced that it has obtained IEC 61508 (Functional Safety) certification for the RX631, RX63N Safety Package, featuring a robust self-diagnostic software and a safety manual for microcontrollers (MCUs) necessary to implement functional safety in industrial equipment. An RX631, RX63N Safety Solution Evaluation Kit will be available in September 2014, providing a hardware evaluation board with the RX63N MCU, the evaluation version of the self-diagnostic software library, and a Users Guide.

“Renesas is committed to the quality and the inherent functional safety of our devices, and we understand the complexity that comes with stringent standards like the IEC 61508,” said Ritesh Tyagi, vice president of marketing, Renesas Electronics America. “Our Functional Safety Package solution provides customers one less thing to worry about, reducing their risk in certifying their own safety solutions and allowing them to focus on their core areas of expertise.”

Functional safety has become a growing reality for factories, equipment manufacturers, and automation OEMs to reduce economic losses due to equipment failures, production losses, and more importantly threats to personnel safety. The European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC1 mandates support for functional safety, and efforts to bring relevant industrial equipment into compliance with functional safety standards such as IEC 61508 have been moving forward. Functional safety is now implemented on multiple industrial equipment such as industrial motor drives, control equipment, industrial networking equipment as well as sensors.

Compliance with the IEC 61508 functional safety standard not only requires system designers to perform tasks referred to as safety analysis, such as failure analysis of safety-related hardware and study of failure diagnostic methods and their diagnostic yields, but also to meet defined regulations aimed at reducing specification and design errors in the development process of safety-related systems that can result in malfunctions. In particular, maintaining conformance at all stages of the software development process is a key issue.

Of the tasks that need to be performed by system developers, such as safety analysis and study of failure diagnostic methods and diagnostic yields, Renesas has already carried out the aspects related to the MCU. For the testing process, Renesas leveraged IAR Systems’ IAR Embedded Workbench for RX certified for Functional Safety, which fulfilled the requirement for proof of tools safety certification. It offers a complete and high-performance C/C++compiler and debugger toolchain together with comprehensive documentation. In addition, the Safety Manual includes the vital information such as FIT rates and SFF (Safe Failure Fraction) computation that can be passed on to a certifying body to reduce complexity in conformance.

Key features of the RX631, RX63N Functional Safety Package Solution:

(1) Self-diagnostic software library and safety manual for RX631 and RX63N 32-bit MCUs

The safety manual contains the results of safety analysis performed on each internal functional block of the MCU, and the self-diagnostic software library covers the CPU, RAM, and flash ROM. The self-diagnostic software uses fault simulation2 to obtain the diagnostic yields of CPU-related diagnostics. This provides a clear basis for diagnostic yields and contributes to more efficient development.

(2) IEC 61508–certified self-diagnostic software library for a simplified software development process

The self-diagnostic software library for the RX631 and RX63N MCUs has been certified as compliant with IEC 61508 SIL3 by the international certification authority TÜV Rheinland of Germany. When installing this software, the customer can omit the usual verification of conformance of the software development process required by the IEC 61508 standard.

(3) RX631, RX63N Safety Solution Evaluation Kit

The RX631, RX63N Safety Solution Evaluation Kit includes an MCU self-diagnostic software library, an evaluation board with the RX63N MCU installed on it, as well as the TÜV-certified Functional Safety version of IAR Embedded Workbench and compiler for RX from IAR Systems. This will enable system designers to get started immediately with diagnostic software performance evaluation and initial system consideration.

With the new Safety Package, Renesas continues to deliver on its commitment to support customers in functional safety system development, offering more functional safety solutions for the industrial field, including a stronger lineup with support for industrial MCUs such as the high-performance, low-power RX100 Series.

1 European Directive on Machinery: A unified standard adopted by the European Union that covers the distribution of industrial machinery products.

2 Fault simulation: An evaluation method that uses a fault simulator to determine the rate at which the self-diagnostic mechanism can detect hypothetical failures.

For more information, follow Renesas Electronics America at @RenesasAmerica on Twitter or http://www.facebook.com/RenesasAmerica.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world’s number one supplier of microcontrollers, is a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions and a broad-range of analog and power devices. Business operations began as Renesas Electronics in April 2010 through the integration of NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723) and Renesas Technology Corp., with operations spanning research, development, design and manufacturing for a wide range of applications. Headquartered in Japan, Renesas Electronics has subsidiaries in 20 countries worldwide. More information can be found at www.renesas.com.

(Remarks) Other product and service names that appear in this press release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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