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DETROIT--Functional safety requirements in automotive electronics design--in the context of ISO 26262--boil down to this: teams not only need to avoid the nightmare failure scenario, they need to get more productive in that quest.
That was my take-away from chatting with Adam Sherer, Cadence group director for Product Management, here at SAE Convergence 2014.
The nightmare scenario goes like this: Your shiny new car looks and functions beautifully when you drive off the lot. But what happens in about 10 years, during a stormy night on a rain-slick mountain highway with a semi-truck bearing down on you?
“Is the car going to have an error and steer straight into the truck because lightning momentarily flipped 1 bit on one chip?” Sherer asks. “You need to know that the car’s going to function. Or, if it’s disrupted, that you’ll have adequate warning, that the car is going to safely slow down and allow you to exit that situation safely for yourself and everyone around. That’s functional safety.”
It’s been three years since ISO 26262 went into effect. From OEMs on down to silicon vendors, it’s caused a “sea change” in design and verification, Sherer, a Cadence blogger, said.
Doing safety testing traditionally means holding the design steady and injecting fault errors into the design. But with massively complex automotive SoCs today, the old simulation approaches aren’t scaling and it’s becoming an increasingly manual, time-consuming affair.
Cadence last week (Oct. 22) at SAE Convergence unveiled a new approach—an approach that automates digital verification in this area.
The new solution expands the Cadence Incisive functional verification platform with new fault injection and safety verification technologies. Its primary components are the new Incisive Functional Safety Simulator and Functional Safety Analysis capability for the Incisive vManager solution.
My colleague Richard Goering has written up a deep-dive on the technology, and Sherer will blog about it as well in the coming days.
At Convergence, I prevailed on Sherer to talk a bit about the challenges and on our colleague Brent Carlson to give us a technology demonstration:
-- Automotive Functional Safety Drives New Chapter in IC Verification