January 18, 2012 -- Industrial automation, transportation, smart grid, and many other industries require machinery and products to be safe and certified for functional safety. Flexibility and the incremental cost of safety can be a significant decision factor when developing machinery that must be compliant to worldwide safety standards.
Safety imposes new processes to machinery development as well as an increase in complexity for the electronics within these applications, typically resulting in significantly higher hardware costs and increased time to market. An industrial system on a chip can help engineers save up to 18 months of design time in achieving product certification according to IEC 61508. Having prequalified devices, such as FPGAs, means the designer benefits from the flexibility of FPGAs without having to worry about whether or not the parts can be used for safety applications.
By Christoph Fritsch. (Fritsch is a senior strategic marketing manager in Altera Corp.'s Industrial and Automotive Business Unit.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.