Re: [SystemSafety] Development of code for ASICs under IEC 61508

From: Jensen, Martin Faurschou < >
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2013 08:43:52 +0200

For my point of view, the problem with ASIC/FPGA development, using 61508, is that some people try to put it as either part-2 or part-3, where the real issue is how we handle a situation where it is in fact both. Formally this is easily handled, from the standard it is not a problem to comply to both part-2 and 3, but out in most companies it might be a complete new exercise to have projects running that needs this kind of detailed involvement from both hardware and software departments.

With best regards,
Martin Faurschou Jensen

Siemens A/S
Flow Instruments
Nordborgvej 81
6430 Nordborg, Denmark
Tel.: +45 7488 2685

From: systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx Sent: 3. juli 2013 22:11
To: 'Martin Lloyd'; systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: Re: [SystemSafety] Development of code for ASICs under IEC 61508

IMHO - yes. If the VHDL or Verilog it is not code, then what is it? It's interesting to note that these language based systems have similar issues to languages such as C, e.g. non-deterministic behavior.

However IEC61508 appears to require a less complete interpretation as given in Part 7 Annex E.


From: systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx Sent: 02 July 2013 17:32
To: systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: [SystemSafety] Development of code for ASICs under IEC 61508

Dear Colleagues

I have a question about code developed for ASICs under IEC 61508:2010. IEC 61508-2 specifies that an ASIC development life cycle shall be used and notes the similarity between the software and ASIC life cycles ( Note 2). However, there is a concern that the standard's requirements for the ASIC life cycle appear to be less than those for software. For example, IEC 61508-3 specifies requirements for tools, including programming languages in para 7.4.4. On the other hand, IEC 61508-2 is less forthcoming on the issue of tools. It cross refers to para of IEC 61508-3 in 7.8 the section on modification (, and also mentions in Table B6 (normative) Use of tools that are proven in use (see 7.4.10) or validated; general computer aided development for all phases of the safety lifecycle.

Thus, should one interpret the standard along the lines that when one needs to certify an ASIC against IEC 61508-2, then it must also be the case that the ASIC code complies with IEC 61508-3 as well?


Kind regards

Martin Lloyd


Dr M H Lloyd CEng FIET


Tel: +44(0)118 941 2728

Mobile: +44(0)786 697 6840<>


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