RISC-V processor core for functional safety supported by development tools

15-07-2021 | Fraunhofer | Design & Manufacture

With its release of development tools for RISC-V processors, IAR Systems supports the ISO 26262 ASIL-D ready certified RISC-V processor core 'EMSA5-FS' of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS. Users of the toolchain software will, therefore, benefit from simplified certification processes for functional safety, lowering costs over the complete product lifecycle and maximum performance in RISC-V-based applications. The new processor core is marketed by partner CAST Inc.




Safety-relevant applications can be seen everywhere in the world, in drive controls, automation technology, vehicle chassis and engine controls, as well as medical infusion pumps and pacemakers. Safety standards such as IEC 61508 are designed to guarantee that electronic systems satisfy the latest safety specifications. This also applies to the processors that are to be employed in those systems. The selection of the development toolchain performs a crucial role and can directly influence the security integrity of those devices. Therefore, it is advantageous to pick a certified software development process that has been externally and independently checked.


“Functional safety is important in many embedded systems and is becoming more and more relevant. After we were the first to bring to market a RISC-V processor core that can be certified according to ISO 26262, we are pleased to be able to offer developers the use of a pre-certified development tool for our IP core as well,” said Marcus Pietzsch, group leader for IP cores and ASICs at Fraunhofer IPMS. ”By using the pre-certified development tool from IAR Systems, companies can simplify their own certification process, increase the quality of their own design process, and save costs over the entire product life cycle.”


IAR Embedded Workbench for RISC-V provides developers access to a full C/C++ compiler and debugger toolchain. For companies that develop safety-critical applications, the solution is also offered in a functional safety version: This is certified by TÜV SÜD in accordance with the relevant standards IEC 61508, ISO 26262, IEC 62304, EN 50128, EN 50657, IEC 60730, ISO 13849, IEC 62061, IEC 61511 and ISO 25119 and incorporates qualified tools over the whole product life cycle.


The processor IP core FS of Fraunhofer IPMS can be made available for any FPGA platform. Integration in customer-specific ASICs for any foundry technologies is also possible.

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