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Renesas Electronics Introduces a Functional Safety Solution for Industrial Automation

Reduce Development Time, Safety Certification Risk, and Produce Highly Reliable, Safe Systems with the RX Microcontroller

Santa Clara, Calif., November 25, 2013 – Renesas Electronics Corporation today announced the development of a functional safety software package for its 32-bit RX631 and RX63N microcontroller (MCU) Groups. The new solution provides diagnostic software for the industry-leading RX CPU core, and its internal memory, and a detailed safety manual to significantly reduce development time for designs that need to conform to stringent safety directives for industrial equipment, such as safety controllers, programmable logic controllers, industrial motor drives and safety sensors.

With the demand to improve safety in the workplace and reduce operating costs, the industry has initiated the need to implement functional safety standards according to IEC61508 to design inherent safety for control systems and equipment.

“Compliance with safety directives such as IEC61508 is a necessary yet complex process for developers designing industrial or safety systems,” said Ritesh Tyagi, Senior Director, Marketing, Renesas Electronics America, Inc. “Renesas’ new RX Functional Safety solution simplifies this process by providing pre-certified diagnostic software and a comprehensive Safety Manual that reduces design risk and development time, allowing engineers to focus on their core competence.”

To conform to functional safety, system manufacturers need to perform safety analysis not just at the system level, but also down to the device level. Safety analysis includes failure mode analysis, considering diagnostic methods, and assessment of its diagnostic coverage. Doing these tests and trying to get detailed test analysis from the device manufacturer is a significant burden.

Renesas’ safety solution for the RX631 and RX63N Group of MCUs has removed this burden by providing a self-test diagnostic software library, and a complete safety manual.

Key features of the new functional safety solution:

  1. Safety manual

    For the functional safety qualification, a comprehensive analysis targeting IEC61508 functional safety standard is performed and the result is published in the safety manual. The safety manual includes the RX MCU’s hardware safety mechanism, the diagnostic methods of software with its diagnostic coverage, and the safety parameter based on safety analysis for each function part of the MCU.

  2. Self-test diagnostic software library

    A diagnostic software library for the CPU core, RAM and flash ROM. Since the diagnostic coverage of the CPU core has undergone comprehensive fault simulation tests (Note 1), the design solution makes it easy to show the basis of the coverage estimation and enables effective system integration.

  3. Compliant with the RX631/63N Group of MCUs

    The new functional safety solution is compliant with Renesas’ RX631 and RX63N MCUs. The RX631 and RX63N MCUs are high-performance, 32-bit MCUs that operates at 1.65 DMIPS/MHz, and includes a floating point unit (FPU), hardware multipliers & MAC, flash operation without wait states, memory sizes up to 2MB of on-chip flash, and a rich set of peripherals such as multiple timers, high speed analog, Ethernet connectivity, and built-in safety-related functions. By using the new functional safety solution, system manufacturers can easily apply functional safety to their systems using the RX631 and RX63N MCUs. Renesas is also planning to expand this safety solution to the company’s other RX family.

Exhibition at SPS IPC Drives

Renesas’ functional safety solution for RX631 and RX63N Group of MCUs will be showcased at SPS IPC Drives to be held in Nuremberg, Germany from November 26 to 28, 2013.


Renesas’ new Functional Safety Solution be sold under a software license model, and will be available in February 2014. (Availability is subject to change without notice.)

(Note 1) Fault simulation test:

A test to confirm diagnostic coverage of self-test software on the fault simulator.


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