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Archive for July, 2022

Scalability – A Looming Problem in Safety Analysis

Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

The boundless possibilities of automation in cars and other vehicles have captivated designers to the point that electronic content is now a stronger driver of differentiation than any other factor. It accounts for a substantial fraction of material cost in any of these vehicles. But this revolution in automotive technology comes with a caveat. In other applications, an electronics problem may be corrected with a shutdown or a reboot. The same resolution, however, does not work well for cars. Misbehavior in the electronics can lead to accidents, even fatalities.

To address this real concern, the ISO 26262 standard was crafted to set guidelines for electronics safety in cars. This context details the characterization and measurement during automotive electronics design. One of the most important analyses in the standard is Failure Modes, Effects and Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA) for each component. It lists potential failure modes with the corresponding impact on the system’s safety and methods to mitigate such failures. These reports communicate safety characterization through the value chain, from IPs to automotive OEMs, as shown in Figure 1.

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