C Library qualification tool eases safety-critical approvals 

C Library qualification tool eases safety-critical approvals 

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By Nick Flaherty

Solid Sands in the Netherlands has launched a C library test tool to smooth the qualification of safety critical systems.

The SuperGuard C Library Safety Qualification Suite builds on some tests that were already in the SuperTest compiler test tool abd provides fully documented requirements and test specifications C library tests. It would be used by users of C libraries to ensure that the library code is fully documented and tested.

“Many of our customers, including those in industries developing safety critical applications, have alerted us to their need to qualify the standard libraries. The library becomes an integral part of the applications, while surprisingly there was a lack of professional tools for library qualification in the market. That observation made us decide to develop SuperGuard,” said Marianne Damstra, Chief OCmmercial Officer and co-founder of Solid Sands.

“SuperTest includes a large suite of tests for libraries so we developed SuperGuard for library qualification. The C language specification includes the language and the library specification and tThe library qualification is linked to the application and that requires different processes in functional safety,” she said.  

SuperGuard provides full traceability between the requirements derived from the ISO C language definition and the test suite. SuperGuard maintains the documentation needed to deliver information and transparency as required by international certification authorities.

Customers are also asking for a C++ version.

“All C compilers are used with a standard library. Functions from the library are linked into the application and a executed on the target. This makes it incumbent on developers of safety-critical applications to demonstrate that the library code is as rigorously tested as code they write themselves,” said Marcel Beemster, CTO of Solid Sands and also a co-founder. “Our current product SuperTest not only validates the compiler, it also contains a comprehensive suite of tests to validate the library. We needed to provide developers with the necessary documentation to show how those library tests are based on requirements and test specifications, to the level required by functional safety standards.”

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The C language specification does not explicitly define a set of requirements that can be tested for each library function, yet such requirements are an essential component of functional safety standards approvals such as ISO 26262. They therefore need to be created from the language specification by the test developer, which in this case is Solid Sands. These requirements and the traceability to the tests are what differentiates SuperGuard.

The SuperGuard C Library Safety Qualification Suite will be available in summer 2021, both as a stand-alone product and as an add-on for SuperTest users. A similar package for the C++ standard library is currently under development.

“People are begging us to do library qualification for C++,” said Beemster. “C++ is so much bigger so we have to use partnerships with customers who request it. That is something we are very interested in but it will not be finished in one iteration,” he said.

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