Free self-test MCU routines released

Paul Boughton

Renesas Electronics Europe, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, has announced that it has received VDE certification for its IEC60335-compliant self-test software for the RX100 family of microcontrollers. This software, which is available for download free of charge from Renesas’ website, is fully compliant with IEC60730-1 regulations and has now been certified by VDE (the German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies). The VDE Institute is recognised worldwide for its work on safety standards and approvals.

In addition to the on-chip hardware safety features, the self-test CPU software makes it easier for manufacturers of industrial, motor control and home appliances to meet IEC60730-1 (IEC60335) class B safety requirements. The safety standard requires software running on an MCU to be able to detect any safety-critical failures according to specific fault models.

"This free software package designed for the RX100 MCU family offers high value to firmware developers involved in safety-critical applications and appliances. For each RX family, including the RX600, RX200 and now the RX100, Renesas delivers VDE-approved software to comply with the IEC60730/60335 safety standards,” said Vincent Mignard from Renesas.

The RX100 MCU family integrates on-chip key advanced peripherals such as the cyclic redundancy check engine (CRC) and a hardware clock monitoring function to detect erroneous clock frequencies. Finally, the RX100 offers the unique Data Operating Circuit (DOC) module, which reduces the RAM March X algorithms testing time and frees up the overall CPU load.

Renesas’ self-test software has been successfully certified for its periodic test routines for CPU registers and program counter tests, stack tests, RAM tests (using March X & C algorithms), Flash check (using cyclic redundancy check engines) and clock monitoring tests. These routines are easy to integrate in any existing software and can be called after reset and periodically during run-time. The software enables developers to easily design safety related software and to meet certification requirements quickly and with less effort. It can reduce development time and the test harness process by up to three months, and the cost of certification by 15%.