ISO 26262 arrives at chip design level

October 19, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
ISO 26262 arrives at chip design level
The value chains of automotive and semiconductor technology are coming closer together. For this reason, Cadence Design Systems has now expanded its semiconductor design software: the chip design workflow has been given an additional instance to ensure functional safety in accordance with the ISO 26262 standard.

ISO 26262 has been in existence for about ten years. As the authoritative standard, it regulates the processes involved in the development of electronic systems in cars and ensures the functional safety (FuSa) of these systems. Until now, this standard was primarily applied at the system level. Because increasingly complex SoCs with heterogeneous multi-core architecture are taking on ever more extensive safety-relevant tasks in automotive electronics, Cadence sees the need to extend these development processes to the chip design level as well. To this end, the company has developed a comprehensive software platform that is not only intended to accelerate development while incorporating security aspects, but also to provide essential support in the complicated ISO 26262 certification process. Similar to ISO 26262 in the automotive sector, the new Cadence Safety Solution also supports Functional Safety in the field of mechanical engineering and automation, where the IEC 61508 standard is applied. The same applies to the corresponding safety standards in aerospace engineering.

Besides this more technical reason, there is a second reason for integrating the automotive safety standard into chip design: more and more car manufacturers and suppliers want to build their chips themselves, such as Tesla.

But there are also reports from companies such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz that they want to reduce their dependence on external suppliers by building these increasingly strategic components. "We are seeing enquiries from industry sectors that were previously unthinkable," confirms Robert Schweiger, Director, Automotive Solutions at Cadence. And of course, Cadence is also addressing its regular customers with the software - semiconductor companies that manufacture products for safety-relevant vehicle components at the chip level.

The Cadence Safety Solution includes support for both analogue / mixed-signal circuits and digital ICs. It covers the spectrum of so-called FMEDA (Failure Modes Effects and Diagnostic Analysis) functions. This means that it enables users to carry out a comprehensive weak point analysis as well

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