Renesas Electronics introduces functional safety solution for industrial automation

Renesas Electronics has developed a functional safety software package for its 32-bit RX631 and RX63N microcontroller (MCU) Groups. The solution provides diagnostic software for the RX CPU core, and its internal memory, and a detailed safety manual to significantly reduce development time for designs that need to conform to stringent safety directives for industrial equipment, such as safety controllers, programmable logic controllers, industrial motor drives and safety sensors.

With the demand to improve safety in the workplace and reduce operating costs, the industry has initiated the need to implement functional safety standards according to IEC61508 to design inherent safety for control systems and equipment.

To conform to functional safety, system manufacturers need to perform safety analysis not just at the system level, but also down to the device level. Safety analysis includes failure mode analysis, considering diagnostic methods, and assessment of its diagnostic coverage. Doing these tests and trying to get detailed test analysis from the device manufacturer has been a significant burden.

Renesas’ safety solution for the RX631 and RX63N Group of MCUs looks to alleviate this by providing a self-test diagnostic software library, and a complete safety manual.

Key features of the new functional safety solution:

  • For the functional safety qualification, a comprehensive analysis targeting IEC61508 functional safety standard is performed and the result is published in the safety manual. The safety manual includes the RX MCU’s hardware safety mechanism, the diagnostic methods of software with its diagnostic coverage, and the safety parameter based on safety analysis for each function part of the MCU.
  • A diagnostic software library for the CPU core, RAM and flash ROM. Since the diagnostic coverage of the CPU core has undergone comprehensive fault simulation tests, the design solution makes it easy to show the basis of the coverage estimation and enables effective system integration.
  • The new functional safety solution is compliant with Renesas’ RX631 and RX63N MCUs. The RX631 and RX63N MCUs are high-performance, 32-bit MCUs that operates at 1.65 DMIPS/MHz, and includes a floating point unit (FPU), hardware multipliers & MAC, flash operation without wait states, memory sizes up to 2MB of on-chip flash, and a rich set of peripherals such as multiple timers, high speed analog, Ethernet connectivity, and built-in safety-related functions. By using the new functional safety solution, system manufacturers can easily apply functional safety to their systems using the RX631 and RX63N MCUs. Renesas is also planning to expand this safety solution to the company’s other RX family.


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