Embedded systems: RTOS kernel built for safety meets certification requirements

SafeRTOS was developed to ease the path to certification, bringing the benefits of off-the-shelf software to applications with safety implications or certification requirements. Certification packs are tailored to IEC 61508 SIL3, FDA510(k) Class III, and EN62304.


Wittenstein Safe RTOS cube
Wittenstein High Integrity Systems announces the immediate availability of SafeRTOS for ST-Micro's STM32 Cortex-M3 family of embedded devices. The small footprint SafeRTOS kernel uses less than 10k flash and a few hundred bytes of RAM and has certification packs tailored to IEC 61508 SIL3, FDA510(k) Class III and EN62304.

Optimized for use with low-cost 32-bit microcontrollers, SafeRTOS from Wittenstein is a small, robust real-time operating system (RTOS) designed for critical applications, especially those in the industrial automation and power generation sectors, such as intelligent sensors. It is supplied with an independently validated certification pack for industrial and medical devices. Using a mature process first certified by TÜV SÜD in 2007, SafeRTOS was developed to ease the path to certification, bringing the benefits of off-the-shelf software to applications with safety implications or certification requirements.

Wittenstein High Integrity Systems is a UK subsidiary of the German industrial technology group, Wittenstein AG. According David Brook, head of marketing at High Integrity Systems, risks associated with using general purpose software and multiple support organizations are virtually eliminated with SafeRTOS because the kernel, certification and support capability are delivered from a single organization.

"It is vitally important when using third party software in certifiable systems that customers know they will get software which is designed from start to finish with the objective of being deterministic, verifiable and capable of certification," Brook said. "Using SafeRTOS will smooth the path to certification, and has features specially designed to ensure robust and predictable performance." SafeRTOS is supplied with a turnkey Design Assurance Pack that includes all the documentation and test vectors that‘plug-in' as part of the design evidence required for certification of the final application.

According to Brook, SafeRTOS is independently approved by TÜV as having been developed in compliance with IEC61508 and supports a broad range of microcontrollers and compilers. Supported processors include:

• Arm CortexM3 (Luminary Micro, STMicro, NXP)
• Arm7/9 (Atmel, NXP, STMicro)
• Freescale Coldfire v1 & v2, HCS12, PowerPC
• Microchip dsPIC, PIC24, PIC32
• NEC V850, 78K0R
• Texas Instruments MSP430
• Renesas H8/S
• Fujitsu MB91460, MB96340
• Infineon TriCore
• Atmel AVR32, MegaAVR

The LM3S9B96 is a Cortex M3 microcontroller from Texas Instruments that comes with a pre-built version of SafeRTOS embedded in ROM. Applications running on the LM3S9B96 can link to and use the‘ROMed' copy of SafeRTOS in commercial applications without paying any license fees.

Find out about the latest SafeRTOS news, training and updates on the company's Facebook page.

- Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk

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