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Ask the Expert - Functional Safety with Microchip


Ask the Expert discusses Functional Safety with Microchip to learn what this means at the MCU level. Plus, what engineers need to do to ensure regulation adherence to meet standards and safety level criteria. We also look at the development tools Microchip offer design engineers to help get their designs and applications up and running.

Click each link below to skip to the next question.

1) What essentially is functional safety? Answer

     Sub Q1 - So, you are saying that functional safety, in the example you just gave, is to ensure that the valve is closed if there is no flame in the burning chamber? Answer

    Sub Q2 - What if that extra valve or the redundant flame sensor also fails? Answer

2) Microchip makes microcontrollers, can you explain how functional safety is relevant on a microcontroller level? Answer

3) Can you consider an ADC or I/O pins safety features in the same way you would for a flame sensor and a gas valve? Answer

4) Do you have more information on the safety manuals? Answer

5) Can you comment on the different safety standards, why are there different safety standards for different types of products? Answer

Jacob comments on the different safety standards and safety integratory levels, terms like Class B, SIL and ASIL are regularly used in relation to the safety level of an application. View 

6) There are techniques to make it easier to design applications that must conform to high safety levels, can you expand on this? Answer

7) If a designer should pick an MCU for a safety-critical design, can they use any MCU, or would you recommend dedicated products to be used? Answer

8) Is it required to use special development tools when developing a safety application, and does Microchip offer these to designers? Answer

Jacob Luun Lassen

Jacob has a M.Sc.EE. from Aalborg University in Denmark, where he specialized in digital signal processing and biomedical engineering. He joined Atmel’s AVR MCU Applications team in 2000 and has developed solutions for motor control and smart batteries, done research on EMC and noise susceptibility of ICs, as well as contributed to AVR microcontroller product definition. He holds several patents, ranging from motor control to MCU functionality. After joining Microchip’s PIC and AVR MCU Marketing team in 2016, he became responsible for developing solutions and products for Functional Safety applications.

Manufacturer Part Number   RS Stock Number
PIC18F16Q41 PIC18F16Q41-I/P (215-8010)
PIC18F47Q43 PIC18F47Q43-I/P (203-4749)
PIC18F47Q43 PIC18F47Q43-I/P (203-4749)

Coming soon to RS, check back soon for more information.

Manufacturer Part Number   RS Stock Number
PIC18F47Q84 PIC18F47Q84 -I/P (216-3122)
AVR128DB64 AVR128DB32-I/RXB (216-3111)
Favourite things are Family, Music and Judo. Also, I have the ability to retain and quote useless facts, something that pleases me but can annoy others. My engineering hero - Isambard Kingdom Brunel

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