Microchip confirms functional safety certification for FPGAs

To reduce the cost of the functional safety certification process and accelerate time to market, Microchip Technology has added IEC 61508 SIL 3 certification packages for its SmartFusion 2 and Igloo 2 FPGAs.

The certification is used in many high-reliability commercial aviation, space, defence, automotive and industrial applications. According to Bruce Weyer, corporate vice president of Microchip’s FPGA business unit, adding these latest two FPGA families 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”.  

Microchip’s safety packages are built on top of the SEU (single event upset) -immune, Flash-based FPGA fabric of the SmartFusion 2 and Igloo 2 devices. These FPGAs are certified by independent safety assessor TÜV Rhineland. 

Microchip also offers certification of Microchip’s 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 provided.

To help protect customers’ long-term certification investments, Microchip practises customer-driven obsolescence where the company commits to build devices used in a certified system as long as customers want to order. Microchip is also able to obtain all sub-elements of a device. This increases confidence that certification will not need to be repeated and at the same time reduces the risk that a part will unexpectedly enter end of life and force redesign or tool flow changes.

Unlike SRAM-based FPGAs, Microchip’s Flash-based SmartFusion 2 and Igloo 2 FPGAs eliminate the need for triple module redundancy (TMR) mitigation that increases total system costs. The SmartFusion 2 SoC FPGA is believed to be the only device to integrate an FPGA fabric, Arm Cortex-M3 processor and programmable analogue circuitry. The low-density Igloo 2 consumes up to 50 per cent less power than similar devices and is suitable for general-purpose functions requiring more resources than alternative FPGAs can deliver, confirmed Microchip. 

The Microchip safety packages for its SmartFusion 2 and Igloo 2 devices are available now.


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