Functional safety certification packages for FPGAs speed time to market

30-09-2022 | Microchip Technology | Semiconductors

Microchip Technology continues to offer certification for its products and tools to industry safety specifications. It has now added IEC 61508 SIL 3 certification packages for two more of its SoC FPGA and FPGA families.

"Microchip FPGA families have a broad and historically strong position within the industrial market and are recognised for the high reliability and security of our nonvolatile FPGA technologies," said Bruce Weyer, corporate vice president of Microchip's FPGA business unit. "We also have a long history of certifying our products and tools to IEC 61508 SIL 3 and other safety specifications, so the end-equipment certification process for our customers is much easier. Adding these packages for our low-power-consumption SmartFusion 2 SoC FPGAs and IGLOO 2 FPGAs is a natural extension for industrial customers who design high-reliability products for the smart grid, automation controllers, process analysers and other safety-critical applications."

The company's safety packages are constructed on top of the SEU-immune, Flash-based FPGA fabric of the SmartFusion 2 and IGLOO 2 devices. These FPGAs are certified by independent safety assessor TÜV Rhineland. Package deliverables include certification of its Libero SoC Design Suite v11.8 Service Pack 4 and associated development tools, plus 28 IP cores, safety manuals, documentation and device data sheets. A safety certificate from TÜV Rhineland is also supplied.

The company also helps protect customers' long-term certification investments via practicing customer-driven obsolescence, where it commits to build devices employed in a certified system if customers want to order, and it can obtain all sub-elements of a device. This increases confidence that certification will not need to be repeated while lowering the risk that a part will unexpectedly enter end of life and force redesign or tool flow changes.

By Seb Springall