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Safety Standards in ARM Ecosystem

Safety is a critical factor for system developers and there exists a wide array of pertinent safety standards that can be applied by the industry. The utilization of electronics in automobiles, medical equipment and the Internet of Things (IoT) has resulted in modern safety standards being established. The improvement in connectivity has resulted in ensuring the devices are secure.


The safety of an interfaced device that is not secured would be impossible, since probable threats through the network connection can affect safety activities. Hence, safety/security principles must be looked at for top notch designs. In the recent past, microcontroller designers have been delivering supplementary features specialized for safety-related systems, which has been assisting software developers manage the wide array of standards. Assistance for virtualization in the hardware enables IT professionals to utilize current, validated code along with new developments/standards without affecting the safety of the system.


Medical Applications


The medical applications sector has used electronics based safety technologies with critical basic designs. For e.g.: infusion pumps and pacemakers are using safety related semiconductor devices in their designs. The interlinking of systems would require enhanced design safety. The IEC 60601 medical electrical equipment standard encompasses equipments - EEG monitors, IV pumps, imaging systems, ECG devices, vital signs monitors. Devices and systems that are not linked to the patient directly are covered by IEC 61010.


A robust risk management strategy is mandatory for medical devices and systems to ensure patient safety. ISO 14971 needs documentation of hazards pertaining to operating modes.


Industrial Applications


Designers of industrial equipment have had to address safety issues. Any breakdown of process equipment managing operations results in environmental calamity. A risk based approach would assist in negating the risks. This led to the development of the functional safety standards (IEC 61508 and IEC 61511).


Automotive Applications


Automotive design has been a key factor to ensure integrated silicon devices safety over the last 2 decades. Standards - ISO 26262 and AUTOSAR have facilitated the development of systems, software and hardware such that risks can be managed. Improvements in automotive driver competencies are restricted by the capability to confirm electronic systems safety.


Vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers are focusing their efforts to develop and validate these systems such that appropriate safety, quality, and reliability attributes can be demonstrated. Recalling a range of vehicles can be incredibly costly and severely damaging to the brand of the car maker. This is driving an understanding that component cost is less important than ensuring the safety systems are correctly architected and developed, giving semiconductor vendors the opportunity to innovate. This experience and innovation can then be transferred to other applications in medical and industrial markets.


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