SiFive - July 06, 2023

ASIL B Ready Certification for SiFive Automotive Solutions

SiFive recently received its official ASIL-B Ready Functional Safety Certificate from the SGS-TUV organization, and to understand the implications, I discussed this achievement with SiFive’s industry recognized Automotive Functional Safety experts, Priyanka Thachakuzhiyil Viswanathan, Director Functional Safety and Cybersecurity, and Monia Chiavacci, Sr. Principal Architect, Functional Safety. This is a great step forward for our customers. Here’s what I learned.

In September 2022, we announced the SiFive Automotive™ E6-A, X280-A, and S7-A solutions to address the critical needs for current and future applications like infotainment, cockpit, connectivity, ADAS, and electrification, as the market transitions to zonal architectures and manufacturers require the energy efficiency, simplicity, security, and software flexibility that RISC-V offers. We partnered with TUV SGS in parallel to begin the first in a series of confirmation measures (confirmation measures include confirmations reviews, functional safety audit and FuSa assessment) for this product line.

We are pleased to have achieved the first milestone, with TuV SGS ASIL -B Ready certification, for the SiFive E6-AB IP core from this automotive series product line. This is a confirmation that SiFive E6-AB Core Complex’s safety architecture can meet the hardware architectural metrics (SPFM and LFM) requirements for ASIL B. For mere mortals, such as myself, these refer to the Single Point Failure Metric and the Latent Fault Metric, which are relative hardware architectural metrics specified by ISO 26262 to quantify the effectiveness of a design against random hardware faults.

This means we have evidenced to TuV SGS, via our safety manual and safety analysis report (using the Failure Modes Effects and Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA) and Dependent Failure Analysis (DFA)), that E6-AB Core Complex can meet the SPFM target >= 90% and LFM target>= 60%. This is a great demonstration of our automotive technical capability and strong commitment to customers requiring functional safety standards conformance, ensuring as a first step, that our IP technology is designed with a “Safety Architecture” that will address their functional safety needs in that foundational technology. Best of all, this certification was achieved solely based on the IP’s hardware safety mechanisms, meaning no software test library (STL) creation or integration is required for this part of an overall system certification.

This also prepares us for the next step, the functional safety assessment with TUV SUD, building upon this earlier foundation. This will include the following:

  • ASIL D systematic capability (Process) assessment for E6-AB, as well as the other variants in the family designed specifically with ASIL-D features, E6-AD and E6-AS

  • ASIL B diagnostic capability assessment for E6-AB as part of FuSa assessment on top of already existing ASIL B ready certificate
  • ASIL D diagnostic capability assessment for E6-AD and E6-AS in lock mode.

    To be clear, this will add the assurances that the entire SiFive development process and the life cycle of our products conforms to the requirements for ASIL D, which is of the highest rigour possible as suggested by ISO 26262 for the design and development of products. From marketing requirements to RTL implementation and delivery, including customer support, errata management and product end-of-life policies and procedures, these robust processes ensure quality, and becomes a part of our ability to design, deliver and support our IP technology for our customers.

    With significant design wins with key automotive vendors, SiFive has strong momentum in automotive and this plan demonstrates to our customers that our products are developed to more stringent design and development processes than even those targeted for ASIL B applications. Our strong team of functional safety experts is working closely with our automotive cores design team to create exciting new automotive solutions. Customers can incorporate our products in applications requiring these specific higher integrity levels with confidence.

    For more information about our Automotive Solutions family of products, please visit our automotive web pages or to talk to us about your specific challenges contact sales.