Design Con 2015

Certification Package for MEN Micro triple-redundant SBCs simplifies system compliance for railway usage

October 05, 2012

Toni_McConnel-October 05, 2012

MEN Micro Inc. offers a certification package up to SIL 4, the highest level for safety-critical railway functions, for its triple redundant single board computers (SBCs). According to the company, up until now no standard components for railway applications have been developed beyond SIL 2. Systems requiring higher SIL levels were typically customer-specific developments. The new package facilitates easier evaluation and authentication of an overall system used in critical railway applications by combining important elements of certification into one concise package.

Available as the 6U VME A602 or the 6U CompactPCI D602, the SBCs are both COTS and FPGA-based. These design features reduce system integration and development issues, saving costs and time to market. The boards use a lock-step architecture that runs the same set of operations in parallel, so hardware components are viewed only once in the programming, reducing software costs as well.


The processors, main memory and internal FPGA structure are triple-redundant. Adding the dual-redundant power supplies, Flash banks and clock oscillators to the SBCs offers extraordinary reliability. This design frees up system space by eliminating the need for additional SBCs to achieve this level of redundancy and saves on power requirements, reducing heat generation.

The standard certification package enables complete system certification according to EN 50126 and EN 50129. It includes a comprehensive user’s manual with specific safety information relevant to railway operations, the safety case that describes safety and quality concepts to meet requirements up to SIL 4, and a test report complete with a certification from the German Technical Inspection Agency. If needed, the package can be adapted to specific application requirements, with additional support by MEN Micro to ensure an easy integration and certification process.

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