Functional safety of electrical, electronic or programmable electronic systems is already a key feature and becoming more and more important in the field of automotive due to the significantly increasing number of these systems in a modern car. Electronic Systems support the human driver or can even take over critical tasks to control the vehicle. This leads to increasing risks from systematic failures and random hardware failures of these systems. ISO 26262 is the related standard for the automotive industry to provide guidance to mitigate these risks. This serves as a helpful framework for developers of automotive safety related systems. On the other hand, fulfilling the requirements and processes from ISO 26262 is a demanding task for Renesas customers.
This Blog contribution is the first one of a series to present different aspects of the numerous Renesas functional safety activities in automotive. These activities enable Renesas to be a strong partner for its customers also in terms of functional safety and support quicker time to market for developers of automotive safety related systems using Renesas products. This Blog series is presented by the Automotive Core Technology Development Division (ACTDD) involved in different fields of automotive safety like new product development and customer support, methodology development and hardware/software safety technical assessment.
One example of these activities is the “Renesas Safety Support Program for Automotive”, which includes different aspects for hardware and software products designed to be used in safety applications, such as delivery of necessary safety work products according to ISO 26262 and direct support of customers by means of safety workshops.
The majority of Renesas safety products are developed as Safety Element out of Context (SEooC), and this means they are not particularly developed for one item. The products are targeting a wide range of applications considering right level of abstraction to seamlessly fit into customers systems. As a base support Renesas provides standard functional safety deliverables for safety related products, these are safety work products according to ISO 26262 like the Safety Requirement Specification (SRS) which lists up all safety requirements necessary for the use case (or cases) considered for the device. The SRS is also important for the customer to judge to what extent the assumed use case described in the SRS is applicable to the target application.
Another important work product provided is the Safety Application Note (SAN) which is giving advice how to configure and use the hardware, software and assumed system level safety mechanisms listed in the SRS and is an essential document to support software development on customer side.
A “Failure Mode, Effects and Diagnostics Analysis” (FMEDA) which is used to calculate ISO 26262 metric values for the device is available in two versions:
- The standard functional safety deliverables package contains a static version of the FMEDA which is preconfigured by Renesas according to the use case defined in the SRS and which cannot be modified by the customer.
- A customizable FMEDA, which consists of the CAR Tool including product specific library, is available for customers who can then update the preconfigured FMEDA content according to their target application to get appropriate metric values. The CAR Tool is available for most of the products and needs a dedicated license. More information for this CAR Tool can be found under https://www.renesas.com/eu/en/products/automotive/car-tool.html.
At the end of the Renesas product development, a functional safety assessment report is issued. This report confirms suitability of the product for usage in the target safety concept as per SEooC in compliance with ISO 26262. A summary of the report is provided to customers as part of the standard functional safety deliverables as evidence of completion of functional safety assessment.
Moreover, in Safety Workshops Renesas safety experts provide customers with detailed explanations of Renesas safety deliverables, give trainings for the CAR Tool usage, explain product’s safety features and much more.
Functional safety is a key topic for automotive and, so, it is also for Renesas:
- Renesas is committed to compliance of ISO 26262 in a company organized manner including following measures:
- Establishment of a safety life cycle
- Integration of safety activities in internal standardized development flow
- Internal and external trainings for building up safety competency throughout the company
- Renesas established an internal assessment organization focused on specific technical aspects required for semiconductors and associated software:
- Independent (I3 level) internal organization (Functional Safety Competence Center)
- Confirmation measures at appropriate development stages
- Semiconductor and embedded software experts in the internal assessment organization are active members of ISO 26262/ISO 19451/IEC 61508
- Renesas provides hardware and software products that comply to ISO 26262:
- Worldwide No. 1 experience in semiconductor devices for automotive applications
- Safety technologies reviewed and accepted by worldwide customers
- Efficient and sufficient safety mechanisms with company-owned technology
- Renesas strongly contributes to relevant standards and is as active member of several working groups responsible for the development of safety standards already since years (for ISO 26262 also right from the beginning of standard development):
- International groups
- Expert membership in ISO WG08 (ISO26262, ISO21448)
- Working member in TC 65/SC 65A/MT 61508-1-2 for IEC 61508 maintenance
- Voting member in SAE (Functional Safety Committee and On-Road Automated Driving)
- STP member in UL4600
- Member of Independent Safety Assessment from IET
- Local groups
- Japan: JSAE, Jaspar
- UK: BSI
- Germany: DKE
- International groups
We would like to give you much more information about the numerous safety activities for automotive in follow up ACTDD contributions to this Blog. There we will focus on various aspects like:
- More details of the Renesas Safety Support Program for Automotive
- Safety features of different Renesas products
- Details of work products like Safety Application Note
- Renesas internal assessment process
- Details and advantages of customizable FMEDA (CAR Tool)
- Renesas software for safety applications like drivers, MCAL, Core Self Tests, etc.
- Safety workshops
- Safety in the context of Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving (AD)
- Standardization activities
We are looking forward to introducing to you these and more topics and will be happy to get feedback from you and answer your questions.