Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (4-25-11): Safety-critical apps

Embedded Newsletter for 04-25-2011

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April 25, 2011

Tech Focus: Tooling up for safety-critical apps at ESC 2011

HIGHLIGHTS

Challenges of safety-critical multi-core systems

Is it time for another look at how we build safety-critical embedded systems?


Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor
Embedded.com

Many embedded systems markets – from consumer electronics to automotive and industrial – shrank drastically during the recent economic downturn. However, safety-critical applications in military, aerospace and medical systems have been relatively immune from economic buffeting. But in exchange for protection from the ups and downs of the still recovering general market, developers in these segments must meet stringent demands for almost perfect reliability and performance.

So it should come as no surprise that some of the most read and viewed design articles on Embedded.com and in ESD Magazine have been on safety-critical topics. Out of dozen or so articles I have selected below, my Editor’s Top Pick this week is “Challenges of safety-critical multi-core systems,” by Wind River’s Chris Ault. He does a careful analysis of how multiprocessing can both hinder and help the creation of safety critical designs. A few other particularly helpful articles from this mix include:

Applying Bayesian belief networks to safety critical software
Moving model-based development into safety-critical embedded apps
Build Safety-Critical Designs with UML-based Fault Tree Analysis

If you want to get further training in safety-critical design, be sure to register for the 2011 Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, May 2-5, where important classes for you to attend include:

Designing embedded systems that do not damage humans

Safety critical software: winning strategies and lost battles
Adopting C coding conventions – writing clean and safe code
Avoiding the top embedded software mistakes
Strategies for safe & secure embedded systems


Design How Tos

Challenges of safety-critical multi-core systems

In this article, the challenges involved in migration to multi-core processor architectures are reviewed in the context of the particular ones related to their use in safety-critical systems.

Architecture of safety-critical systems

It's one thing to know your system is safety-critical; it's another to know how to deal with it. The author explains how to evaluate errors, categorize them, and safely handle them when they happen.

How to verify your compiler for use in IEC 61508 safety-critical applications

Richard Barry describes step-by-step what is necessary to satisfy the IEC61508 safety-critical requirements for compiler verification using a very rapid low-risk compliance framework.

Is it time for another look at how we build safety-critical embedded systems?

This article discusses the repercussions of embedded software failure within such industrial segments as automotive, medical and mil/aero, looks at examples of erroneous code to look out for when looking for defects, and the different initiatives that drive software safety benchmarks such as DO-178B, FDA, and MISRA.

Applying Bayesian belief networks to fault tree analysis of safety critical software

Using a Bayesian Belief Network to express the fault tree allows both hard and soft evidence to be used in safety critical software analysis in a quantifiable way with the results usable in a larger model that expresses a full, quantified safety case for a design.

Build Safety-Critical Designs with UML-based Fault Tree Analysis – The basics

This three part series describes use of Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) in safety-critical design, taking advantage of UML profiling to create a safety analysis profile, including the definition of its normative metamodel. Part 1: The basics of safety & capturing of fault metadata for analysis.

Moving model-based development into safety-critical embedded applications

How to use the SCADE (Safety Critical Application Development Environment) to help model problems of determinism and ambiguity in many safety-critical control system applications.

Using static analysis to diagnose & prevent failures in safety-critical device designs

David Kleidermacher reviews static analysis tools and their usefulness in safety-critical embedded apps such as medical devices and systems, and provides insight into using them effectively and assesses what remains to be done to address future challenges.

Defense in depth: Reducing embedded software bugs using static analysis and coding rules

Coding rules and static analysis tools are most effective when they work together, automating much of the work of checking compliance with rules, freeing up time to focus on higher-level concerns such as algorithm design.

Picking the right system design methodology for your embedded apps: Part 1

In this three part tutorial, Wayne Wolf discusses why today's complex embedded designs require developers use a formal specification or informal requirements system design methodology as well as the features that are important to have in such tools. Part 1: Why design methodologies?

State charts can provide you with software quality insurance

Peter Mueller provides five reasons why embedded developers should know more about statecharts and how that knowledge can be used to ensure software quality.

When perfect is good enough

For mission-critical and safety-critical electronic systems at the 28nm node and below, the high reliability and high availability of systems designed using FPGAs is of great concern to a wide variety of target application areas.


Beer and Boards Training

It's less than a month now until ESC Silicon Valley 2011 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California and we are getting fired up about all the great hands-on educational opportunities. We are especially excited about the just-announced Beer and Boards training available for All Access pass holders!

Pick one of the development kits to take home:
•   Texas Instruments CC2540DK-MINI Development Kit
•   XL_STAR complete MCU development environment
•   Avnet Spartan-6 LX9 MicroBoard

Info on each board is here:
http://esc.eetimes.com/siliconvalley/boards_beer?cid=EET_BNBPV

Then attend a gathering and meet with the board's designers, where you will learn about the kit and share a few beers. Development kit supplies are only available to All Access Pass Holders—so make sure you register now, quantities are limited.

Register Online:  https://esc.embedded.com/sv/2011?cid=EET_BNBPV

Here are some additional the other hands-on training courses at this years conference:
•   Hands-on TCP/IP Half-Day Tutorial
•   Capacitive Touch Workshop
•   Hands-on with USB/I2C/SPI Protocol
•   Check out the full program
•   You can also interact with industry experts, such as Jack Ganssle, at Shop Talks.

Use Promo Code: Beer&Boards ” for and additional 20% discount* and be entered to win a free seat
at Embedded Software Boot Camp or one of twenty copies of the Embedded C Coding Standard book.
Register Online:  https://esc.embedded.com/sv/2011?cid=EET_BNBPV


Products

SOFTWARE TOOLS: Ada DO-178B Level A kit speeds design for safety-critical apps

New kit from Aonix provides DO-178B Certification evidence for ObjectAda RAVEN and lowers costs for production of certification evidence

SYSGO expands safety cert to IEC 61508 and EN 50128, highest level security PikeOS now available to industrial sector

SYSGO is expanding its safety certification product offering to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61508 Standard and to EN 50128 railway industry standard defined by CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization.

LDRA and TASKING tool integration enables fast safety standard compliance for C166 family

LDRA has partnered with Altium to integrate the LDRA tool suite and the TASKING VX-toolset for C166. The integrated solution brings compliance to safety standards such as MISRA, IEC 61508, and DO-178B to small-footprint microcontrollers such as Infineon's C166 family.

Modular functional automotive test system improves coverage

The Agilent TS-8900 automotive functional test system is a standardized PXI-based solution which is especially suited for testing medium- to high-pin-count electronic control units.

BEEcube's BEE4-W speeds prototyping of military/aerospace comm designs

The BEE4-W is BEEcube's latest generation FPGA Berkeley Emulation Engine (BEE) platform, specifically designed to address rapid system-level prototyping of wireless and digital communications designs. It is a commercial, stackable full speed multi-FPGA based prototyping platform, integrated with DAC/ADC modules for mixed signal and digital communications designs. With four (4) integrated ADC and DAC solutions, the Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA based BEE4-W enables a wide range of high-performance, real-time implementations in multiple military and defense applications.

Agilent Technologies

New Agilent Oscilloscopes with Breakthrough Technology Deliver MoreScope for the Same Budget

InfiniiVision 2000 and 3000 X-Series scopes offer 26 models from 70to 500 MHz starting at $1,230 USD. Entry models offerindustry-exclusive options like 8-channel Mixed Signal Oscilloscopeand integrated function generator. Advanced scopes change to16-channel MSOs and add serial bus debug options.
Click here to learn more.


Commentary

Ten million lines in 29 months: model-driven development on the Chevy Volt

IBM VP Meg Selfe describes the model-driven development that created the Chevy Volt.

COMMENTARY: Using model-based design to improve design quality in mil-aero embedded apps

With model-bas

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