Certification "hand-holding" comes to device software optimization - Embedded.com

Certification “hand-holding” comes to device software optimization


Santa Barbara, Ca. — Green Hills Software founder and chief executive officer Dan O’Dowd thinks that he and his company have a better way to meet the specific needs of targeted industry segments that moves beyond simple device software optimization as it is currently defined.

It’s called handholding, or more accurately, targeted consultation services with each platform to help a developer move through the certification and documentation processes for safety, reliability and security that are required in many industry segments.

“Most of the industry and market segments that Green Hills is involved with have critical safety, security, and reliability specifications (see Table 1 below ) that vary from industry to industry and country to country,” he said. “And rather than walk away from the customer after he has purchased our device optimization software packages, we are also offering industry-specific consulting, engineering and certification services to aid users of our platforms qualify in their industry segments.”

Table 1

GHS Platforms target six industries
In addition to complete tools and building block platform packages for medical, Software Defined Radio (SDR), wireless, industrial control, automotive and avionics, said Dan Mender, director of business development at Greeen Hills, each industry specific package comes with certification to the most stringent reliability, safety and security standards for each industry. Also include are those specified by the National Security Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, Food and Drug Administration, IEEE and IEC.

Each platform comes with the company’s industry-specific middleware, and industry specific reference hardware, he said, as well as the documentation and life cycle evidence required for industry-specific safety and security certifications and approvals.

The Platform for Medical Devices is designed to meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) requirements for up to Class III medical devices, the most stringent type of FDA certification. Class III devices usually support or sustain human life, such as pacemakers and defibrillators.

The Software Defined Radios platform, said Mender, complies with the Software Defined Radio (SDR) standard Software Communications Architecture (SCA) Operating Environment.

The Industrial Safety Platform is targeted at industrial devices requiring safety certifications is in the final stages of certification by TV to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 61508 at Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL3). It also includes a full set of safety documentation, which is required for certification of a final device.

The company’s avionics platform includes support for the aviation industry standard ARINC 653-1 application software interface, and the documentation required for U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) safety certification.

INTEGRITY-178B has been certified to the FAA’s most stringent standard for flight-critical avionics systems, RTCA/DO-178B Level A. The Platform for Avionics is available with the MULTI development environment, which supports development with the C, C++ and Ada programming languages. For safety critical development it also supports development with MISRA C, Embedded C++, and both the SPARC and Ravenscar Ada language subsets.

According to David Kleidermacher, Green Hills vice president of engineering, what will make the difference in the industry segments that Green Hills has targeted with its’ platforms is hands-on experience. “Of course, we have done our homework in understanding the requirements in each segment,” he said. “But beyond that we have a participant’s knowledge of the requirements in each of these segments, having had to take our own operating systems, software development tools, middleware and building blocks through the certification processes.”

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