SIL3 safety certified ARM M23 and M33 microcontrollers

SIL3 safety certified ARM M23 and M33 microcontrollers

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By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics has certified software for two of its families of ARM microcontrollers for functional safety industrial designs that meet the IEC 61508 standard.

Renesas now offers IEC 61508 SIL3 certified self-test software for its RA ARM Cortex-M23 and M33-based MCUs, the RA2, RA4, and RA6 series. Renesas also announced IEC 61508 SIL3 certified PROFIsafe application software for its in house 32bit CISC RX controller family. These have all been certified by TÜV Rheinland in Germany.

Renesas is the first semiconductor supplier to offer these hardware-software solutions.

Functional safety is a critical consideration across most industrial automation equipment. It is also becoming increasingly important in numerous other applications, including service robotics, medical, and building automation. These requirements are often complex and place additional burden on overall development. In addition, many customers have limited experience with functional safety standards.

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During development, Renesas’ certified solutions help accelerate customers time to market and reduce total cost of ownership. Commercial licensing is available for certified software solutions and technical support is provided throughout the entire product development process.

Building a safety critical system using an MCU requires device-level diagnostics. The SIL3 certified Self-Test software allows designers to make use of IEC 61508 certifications for the MCU’s CPU, ROM, and RAM when certifying the overall system.

The PROFIsafe application software is used to ensure safe network communication for applications that use industrial Ethernet. The software provides PROFIsafe functionalities on PROFINET slave devices and eliminates the certification step for network communications. This works together with Renesas’ industry proven certified SIL3 System Software kit for RX MCUs and supports RX200, RX600 and RX700 series MCUs. Self-test software is already available for RX MCUs.

“Companies of all sizes and in all geographies are seeking help in navigating functional safety requirements,” said Roger Wendelken, Senior Vice President in Renesas’ IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit. “We are proud to lead the industry in providing certified software solutions that complement our MCUs and assist our customers in getting to market faster.”

“The diagnostic software added to the Renesas solution, issued by TÜV Rheinland for functional safety certification, is based on the ARM core, which is increasingly being adopted in industrial automation,” said Masataka Nakao, General Manager, responsible for Functional Safety in Business Stream Industrial Services and Cybersecurity at TÜV Rheinland Japan. “Verifying diagnostic software takes time, and we are confident that certified Renesas diagnostic software can increase the efficiency of customers’ functional safety product development, which will contribute to the expansion of the functional safety market.”

Both the IEC 61508 SIL3-certified Self-test software kit and PROFIsafe Application Software kit are available today. In addition, Renesas offer reference documentation, an evaluation board for the RX family, and an IEC 61508 Certification Kit for RX compilers. All of these resources are available at

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