Aldec automates safety-critical traceability

By Paul Dempsey |  No Comments  |  Posted: May 21, 2013
Topics/Categories: Blog - EDA, Embedded, - Standards, Verification  |  Tags: , , , , , , ,  | Organizations: ,

Aldec has launched Spec-TRACER, a new tool aimed at lifecycle management and traceability for designs that target vigorous standards in safety-critical industries.

When we talk about design complexity, we usually mean what goes into the system itself, not how the flow is constructed and tracked. However, standards such as DO-254 in avionics, ISO 26262 in automotive, IEC 61508/61511 in industrial and IEC 61513 in nuclear energy place a huge (and it must be said necessary) onus on design teams. In these markets, being able to track and demonstrate that you have fully exercised all necessary parts of your design and verification flow is essential. However, it has also been historically complicated, costly and time-consuming.

A co-authored Boeing/Mentor Graphics paper on how to address verification in DO-254 remains one of the most consistently viewed articles here on the site. Aldec has now published its own take on the broader traceability issue (found here – registration required).

Feedback from the Boeing/Mentor article suggests that not only is very deep traceability important in safety-critical markets, but is increasingly cropping up in general. Two factors might be driving this:

  1. End-customers continue to set the bar ever higher – after all, if there are ways to automate and implement traceability for safety critical markets, why not elsewhere?
  2. The Internet of Things and increasing interconnectedness is making design teams pause and think about whether the standards in more specialist markets could reach out into the mainstream to enable truly ubiquitous interactions. Automotive’s ISO26262 standard is already presenting challenges here.

However, it is probably fair to say that while the issue becomes a wider concern, it is the traditional safety-critical application that will always require closest attention.

Spec-TRACER has been built to record design and verification progress on both FPGA and ASIC projects. It automates and simplifies another of processes including capture, requirements versions tracking, results management and reporting, as well as traceability.

As well as the white paper and an online seminar, an evaluation download is available at Aldec’s website.

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