MRO Magazine

Renesas Accelerates Functional Safety Implementation in Industrial Equipment With New RX111 Safety Package Solution


September 2, 2015
By Business Wire News

SANTA CLARA, Calif.

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today expanded its industrial support with the launch of its RX111 Safety Package, to significantly reduce development time to implement functional safety for industrial equipment and devices, such as sensors, safety controllers, and industrial drives.

Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) movements are driving the need for more robust and inherently safe devices on the factory floor, from the PLCs down to the sensors at the edge of the factory network. The European Machinery Directive (Note 1) also requires that equipment provides support for functional safety. Renesas has built upon its knowledge and experience related to functional safety within the automotive field, and leveraged its expertise in the design and development of microcontrollers (MCUs), to offer developers a broader range of functional safety solutions that help expand the adoption of functional safety in the industrial field.

“Functional safety compliance has always been a challenge for OEMs due to the high costs and need for expertise within the organization,” saidVin D’Agostino, Vice President, General Purpose Products Unit, Renesas Electronics America, Inc. “A pre-certified software solution like our new RX111 Safety Package takes some of the complexity out of the process, reducing risks and enabling designers to achieve these stringent certifications in a shorter period of time.”

The new RX111 Safety Package solution supports the power-efficient RX111 MCUs ideal for sensor-based applications, for which demand is growing rapidly as the importance of monitoring the state of industrial systems increases. Certified under the IEC 61508 SIL3 international functional safety standard, and meeting a strict third-party certification for MCUs, the RX111 Safety Package is one the industry’s most comprehensive MCU safety packages. It includes an exhaustive self-diagnostic software library set that reaches diagnostic coverage representing more than 100,000 combinations to cover both random and systematic faults to support both SIL2 and SIL3 applications. In addition, the Safety Manual includes vital information such as FIT rates and SFF (Safe Failure Fraction) computation that can be passed on to a certifying body to reduce complexity in conformance. The solution significantly reduces the development time related to diagnostics performed on the MCU, by providing the safety analysis and study of failure diagnostic methods and diagnostic yields.

The RX111 Safety Package extends Renesas’ commitment to functional safety support and enables seamless compliance with functional safety requirements in a variety of applications, complementing the RX631, RX63N Safety Package introduced in August 2014 for industrial equipment applications requiring high-speed data processing, such as motion monitoring or network communication.

Features of the RX111 Safety Package:

(1) Diagnostic program for compact, power-efficient MCUs, suitable for use in sensor devices
The self-diagnostic software uses fault simulation (Note 2)to obtain a clear basis for diagnostic yields and contributes to more efficient development. To accommodate the comparatively smaller ROM capacity of the RX111 MCUs, Renesas has also reduced the self-diagnostic software to half the size of earlier versions for the RX631 and RX63N, further boosting the high cost-to-performance ratio associated with the RX111 devices. It is also possible to select a product version with smaller memory capacity to further boost performance relative to cost. This makes it easier to switch to electronic equivalents of mechanical safety mechanisms in applications such as state monitoring sensor devices, motor drive devices for torque cutoff control, safety relays, and safety switches.

(2) IEC 61508 SIL3-certified for efficient safety development
The provided software library includes functions that implement safety analysis of each of the MCU’s internal functional blocks, summarize the results in the form of a safety manual, and perform self-diagnostics on the CPU, RAM, and flash ROM. Fault simulation evaluation (Note 2) verifies the fault diagnostic rate of the CPU. This provides a precise basis for reporting the diagnostic rate. The self-diagnostic software included in the package is IEC 61508 SIL3 certified by TÜV Rheinland Industrie Service GmbH of Germany, an internationally recognized third-party certification authority. Using this software eliminates the need to obtain separate qualification of the software development process conformance as required under the IEC 61508 standard. Customers utilizing the RX111 Safety Package can reduce the development period devoted to MCU safety analysis by approximately one-third.

(3) The RX111 Safety Package Evaluation Kit for easy evaluation
The RX111 Safety Package Evaluation Kit bundles an evaluation board with a built-in RX111 MCU and self-diagnostic software, enabling system designers to get started immediately with diagnostic software performance evaluation and initial system consideration. The evaluation kit will be available with the RX111 MCUs. It can also be combined with the evaluation kit of the certified IAR Embedded Workbench for RX, Functional Safety Version (from IAR Systems, available for download on the IAR Systems web site) and used for initial system assessment.

(Note 1) European Directive on Machinery: A unified standard adopted by the European Union that covers the distribution of industrial machinery products.

(Note 2) Fault simulation: An evaluation method that uses a fault simulator to determine the rate at which the self-diagnostic mechanism can detect hypothetical failures.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world’s number one supplier of microcontrollers, is a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions and a broad-range of analog and power devices. Business operations began as Renesas Electronics in April 2010 through the integration of NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723) and Renesas Technology Corp., with operations spanning research, development, design and manufacturing for a wide range of applications. Headquartered in Japan, Renesas Electronics has subsidiaries in 20 countries worldwide. More information can be found at www.renesas.com.

(Remarks) All registered trademarks or trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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