IEC 61508 – Functional Safety for Electric Devices
Risk management and safety aspects become increasingly important for the selection of software platforms for embedded systems used in the industrial automation and process control industry. Certification of software component after to IEC 61508 is often part of the project. A clever choice of the (real-time) operating system allows cost reductions during the whole life cycle of the embedded systems as well as a reduction of complexity of the overall system.
Certifying Electronic Devices after IEC 61508
IEC 61508 (also EN 61508) has been released in 1998 by the International Electrotechnical Commission and renewed in 2010. The document includes seven parts where part 3 defines the software requirements of "Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems". IEC 61508 distinguishes four Safety Integrity Level (SIL) according to the probability of failures and their potential damage. Certification after IEC 61508 is required if computer-based systems perform safety-critical functions which today is more and more common. For the software components a V-model based development process mandatory. A real-time operating system certified after DO-178B for use in safety-critical avionics applications is an ideal software platform for industrial automation and process control applications, too.
Micro-kernel based PikeOS Embedded Virtualization
PikeOS has been designed for use in safety-critical applications and has gone through a comprehensive validation according to safety standards like DO-178B, EN 50128, IEC 62304, IEC 61508, ISO 26262, IEC 61513 of either the avionics, automotive, railway, medical, industrial automation or nuclear power plants. Since only the micro-kernel runs in privileged mode, all of its code contributes to the trusted code base of every application that might run on top of it. The effort of certifying a program is roughly proportional to the amount of code to be examined. This comprises the code of the program itself, but also that of the run-time environment (i.e. operating system, libraries etc.) which the program relies on.
Therefore, the PikeOS micro-kernel consists of less than 10.000 lines of code making certification less expensive than that of conventional monolithic real-time operating systems. Even better: PikeOS allows the combination of application of different levels of criticality on a single hardware platform where every application can be certified independently from others
SYSGO Research Projects on Safety for Industrial Automation
SYSGO is partner of important research projects on Safety for critical industrial automation applications:
- INTERESTED: Seamless Tool-Chain for safety-critical Applications
- JEOPARD: Real-time Java on Multi-Core CPUs
- TECOM: Trusted Embedded Computing
- ACROSS: ARTEMIS CROSS-Domain Architecture
- PROARTIS: Probabilistically Analysable Real-Time Systems