Get IEC 61508 Standard Certification for Critical Industrial Embedded Systems with VectorCAST

Electrical, electronic or programmable systems performing safety related functions are often developed to the IEC 61508 standard. IEC 61508 is the standard governing functional safety of programmable electronic systems. This standard developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is well-established in the industrial process-control and automation industry and is also used in automotive, heavy machinery, mining, and other fields where safety and reliability are critical.



Ensuring Complete Industrial Embedded Systems Testing

Ensuring predictable embedded systems operation for IEC 61508 certification requires knowing you tested 100% of the code. VectorCAST/Cover collects coverage information throughout system test activities and lets you determine adequacy of the system tests.

More testing may then be instituted for those areas of the application.

Why System Testing Isn't Enough for 100% Reliability

System testing will not result in 100% coverage, as many functions contain error handling code that is difficult or impossible to stimulate using the fully integrated application.

The optimal solution is performing unit and integration testing using VectorCAST/C++ or VectorCAST/Ada.

VectorCAST/Cover shares coverage information with VectorCAST for C/C++ and VectorCAST for Ada, so you can easily create reports demonstrating combined coverage from all tests.

How VectorCAST Assists Certification for IEC 61508

The standard presents a lifecycle approach including risk assessment, design, integration, testing, modification and maintenance and safety management.

The IEC 61508 complete standard is comprised of 7 parts. Part 3 defines the software requirements and sets the safety lifecycle for software, including validation and verification. The safety lifecycle begins with a risk analysis to determine the Safety Integrity Level (SIL) required. SIL is a quantification of the magnitude of risk reduction required.

SAFETY INTEGRITY LEVELPROBABILITY OF DANGEROUS FAILURE PER HOURRISK REDUCTION FACTOR
 SIL 4>=10-5 to <10-4 100,000 to 10,000
 SIL 3>=10-4 to <10-3 10,000 to 1,000
 SiL 2>=10-3 to <10-2 1,000 to 100
 SIL 1>=10-2 to <10-1 100 to 10

Based on the risk analysis, the following recommendations are made with respect to source code verification.

IEC 61508 Recommendations for Code Verification

(R = Recommended, HR = Highly Recommended)

TECHNIQUESIL 1SIL 2SIL 3SIL 4VECTORCAST
Formal Proof-RRHR 
Probabilistic Testing-RRHR 
Static AnalysisRHRHRHRVectorCAST/Lint
Dynamic Analysis and TestingRHRHRHRVectorCAST/C++/Ada
VectorCAST/Cover
Software Complexity MetricsRRRRVectorCAST/C++/Ada
VectorCAST/Cover

 

For software systems, IEC 61508 suggests following a V-model development process. The V-model shows the necessary connection between requirements and validation throughout the entire development process. The VectorCAST tools are used during the verification and validation phases, and during the coding phase as depicted in the graphic below:

IEC 61508 Certification

The VectorCAST IEC Certification Kit for IEC 61508 and ISO 26262 provides documentation, certificates, and templates that help you use VectorCAST on projects based on the IEC 61508 and ISO 26262 standards.

The kit includes certificates and reports from certification authority TÜV SÜD that are based on documented, application-specific verification workflows. The VectorCAST IEC Certification Kit offers organizations the required evidence to demonstrate compliance with IEC 61508 and ISO 26262.

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See the Benefits of VectorCAST for Your Industrial Embedded Application

If you would like to see how VectorCAST tools improve performance in your exact testing environment, register today for a 30-day, fully-functional trial.

You may also contact Vector Software to arrange a demo specific to your project.