With growing advancements in hardware designs, the complexity of designs has increased multiple folds and brought great challenges to the lifecycle of quality management, development, validation, verification, and production. Applications, especially in the automotive industry, avionics, and space programs, have also increased the need for functional safety assurance of these complex designs to a great extent. These applications have high requirements for functional safety because the consequences of failure could lead to damage, injury, or loss of life. The risk of system (hardware and software) malfunction must be measured and thus minimized.
The Tool Qualification Kit (TQK) is an exclusive pre-qualification kit provided by Agnisys for its IDesignSpec™ tool suite to users embarking on a functionality safe design and not worrying on adding any additional measures for safety compliance on their design development processes involving this EDA tool suite.
Standard Safety Compliance
There are industry standards that provide laid-down guidance for developers to assess risks and develop appropriate measures so that the development cycle systems continue to operate safely even when failures occur. For electrical and electronic vehicular applications, ISO 26262 is the primary standard.
Part of applying ISO 26262 to the IP and system-on-chip (SoC) development process is qualifying the electronic design automation (EDA) tools used. This can place a heavy burden on the users, so tool vendors should do as much of the work as possible by providing products and flows that meet the stringent qualification requirements of the standard. The complete Agnisys IDesignSpec™ Suite of products has been certified by the internationally recognised testing organization.
IDesignSpec™ tool suite has achieved the stringent tool qualification criteria defined in ISO 26262. The Tool Suite is classified as a T2-offline-tool, suitable to be used in safety-related development according to IEC 61508. The certification means that IP and SoC developers only have to qualify the tool for its safety compliance through the mandatory TQK (tool qualification kit) to integrate it in their development flow.
Tool Qualification Kit (TQK) details
Agnisys provides the ISO 26262 Tool Qualification Kit (TQK) for the pre-qualification of the complete suite of IDesignSpec (IDS™) software products. This mandatory kit is crafted for customers embarking on a functionally safe design to ensure the safety qualification of the Agnisys Tools at their end before actually using them in their development cycle. The kit consists of the following items to serve its purpose –
- Tool download links with their checksum to detect transmission errors, if any.
- The Safety Manual is a complete guide for customers to get started. Customers are expected to follow the guidelines and recommendations in this manual when working on functionally safe designs.
- Release Notes for an overview of the latest feature enhancements and fixes in the tool with their traceable IDs.
- A validation kit, which further consists of :
- Agnisys Kitchen Sink (AKS) which is an all-encompassing design sample with various supported and approved structures and properties that are found to be functionally safe by Agnisys, Users can plug and use AKS components in their design structures based on their specifications and needs.
- Test scenarios with their RUN commands/generation configuration and the expected static results for users to compare and ensure correct and expected tool behavior.
- Verification reports of static files such as bridges that will be used in the design.
- Regression log for the release version to ensure backward compatibility.
- List of known issues as waiver scenarios in the FS release.
For users seeking a functionally safe release for any of the IDesignSpec suite of tools, following the TQK will provide them with a clear set of actions and expectations to ensure industry standard functional safety in their created designs. This kit guarantees the capability to convert the design specification to functional safe code, provided the customer adheres to the ISO26262/IEC61508 standards for developing their specifications in accordance with the mentioned standards.
There are multiple causes for designs being wrong, but some of the most common are related to the design specifications and how they are distributed and maintained throughout the product development lifecycle. Learn how to address this issue by reading The IC Designer's Guide to Automated Specification of Design and Verification, for Better Products.