• Digital Freedom: Cybersecurity that Matters

    The Digital Revolution is here. It’s been called the Internet of Things (IoT), or even the Internet of Everything. Applied to Industry, it’s called the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0, and the Digital Enterprise. Regard...
    • 8 Nov 2018
  • How to Architect Software for Safety

    The temptation to jump in and start coding is always great. For both safety and security if you take this approach you may pay for it later. Designing a proper software architecture can... Simplify interfaces Reduce the amount of code which has to b...
    • 6 Nov 2018
  • Functional Safety for Software

    I won’t go so far as to say that functional safety guys hate software but sometimes you would be forgiven for thinking so. From a safety point of view, software is deemed to have too many states and is said to be un-testable. Figure 1 - A book...
    • 22 Oct 2018
  • EZ Tell Me Only What I Want to Know

    In our last blog, we walked you through the new look of EngineerZone (EZ), offered some helpful tips, and showed you what you could expect as a new or returning EZ user. One tip, in particular, was how to receive and customize email notification...
    • 11 Oct 2018
  • Annex E – Requirements for On-Chip Redundancy

    Some of the most important semi-conductor information in IEC 61508:2010 is in in part 2 Annex E. This annex was added in the 2010 version of the standard and will be revised for revision 3 due out in the 2021/22 time frame.       &nbsp...
    • 9 Oct 2018
  • The AD7770 Another Interesting Part for Functional Safety Applications:

    The AD7770 has 8 simultaneously sampling analog-to-digital converters with each channel having its own mux, PGA and SINC filter. The AD7770 is specified down to DC. However what is most eye catching from a functional safety point of view is...
    • 25 Sep 2018
  • A Meeting of Innovative Minds: Deep Tech Startups, VC Backers & Corporate Innovation Labs

    This summer, I participated in a thought-provoking panel discussion at our newly relocated Analog Garage in downtown Boston with members of our local startup and VC communities. Moderated by Matt Duffy, head of marketing for weather technology compan...
    • 18 Sep 2018
  • Navigating the New EngineerZone

    We recently unveiled the new EngineerZone (EZ) and we are jumping at the opportunity to walk you through the new look, offer some helpful tips, and show you what you can expect as a new or returning EZ user.            &...
    • 17 Sep 2018
  • An Interesting Part for Functional Safety Applications: AD7124

    The AD7124 is a 24 bit sigma-delta ADC including on-chip muxes, PGA (programmable gain amplifier), voltage references, buffers, a stable clock, voltage regulators and lots of diagnostics. Figure 1 - block diagram of the AD7124-4...
    • 13 Sep 2018
  • Hardware Reliability Metrics - PFH and PFD

    This blog is a follow on to the last one which covered demand modes and particularly low and high demand mode. This description is designed to fit in the length of a blog and target enthusiastic amateurs in functional safety, experts might want more ...
    • 10 Sep 2018
  • Two Crucial Components for Your High Performance Audio Systems

    High resolution, high fidelity and high quality are some typical jargon used in the audio industry, but they truly are essential features for an audiophile. Whilst they look so attractive, they are not so easy to achieve unless the right components...
    • 21 Aug 2018
  • Low, High & Continuous Mode Safety Functions

    In my last blog on soft errors I promised that the next blog would be on the topic of PFH and PFD. However, since that promise it occurred to me that I should first cover low and high demand mode. Within IEC 61508 there are basically two types of saf...
    • 2 Aug 2018
  • Enabling Flexible Multi-channel Battery Formation and Test

    Lithium-Ion batteries are produced in a variety of form factors and capacities and are used to provide power in a range of applications from cell phones, laptop computers, electric vehicles, to energy storage. The cells used in these applications c...
    • 31 Jul 2018
  • Soft Errors - Hard Facts

    I am long overdue to include a blog on the functional safety requirements for software and indeed the functional safety requirements for Verilog code however this isn’t that blog. By soft errors I mean bit flips in RAM or FF that are not caused...
    • 17 Jul 2018
  • The Secret Sauce of Functional Safety

    Is there a secret sauce for functional safety? I have been asked if there was only one thing from functional safety that I think should be applied to every product development, what would it be.  My answer: Rigorous requirements management. Req...
    • 3 Jul 2018
  • Functional Safety for Lifts (elevators)

    I recently came across a series of standards for lifts (elevators), escalators and moving walkways. I thought it was a good example of a sector specific standard. The standard in question is ISO 22201-1 and was first published in 2017. It uses SIL le...
    • 19 Jun 2018
  • Functional Safety: Recommended Reads

    While I am the functional safety guy for Analog Device’s industrial products I find it useful to read books related to many application areas. Often what is poorly explained in one book is very well explained in a book from another domain. I fi...
    • 5 Jun 2018
  • IEC 62443 Series of Cyber Security Standards: An Overview

    In my last post I discussed cyber security and functional safety and said if you are not secure, then you are not safe.The main non-sector specific functional safety standard is IEC 61508. Within IEC 61508 it references IEC 62443 for security. IEC 62...
    • 22 May 2018
  • Determining the Winning Preakness Time Four Decades Later

    Nearly all horse racing fans and even most causal sports fans know the name Secretariat. The thoroughbred shattered track records on the way to a Triple Crown sweep in 1973. What many people may not know is that Secretariat didn’t break the track r...
    • 15 May 2018
  • Functional Safety & Security

    Functional safety concentrates on protecting people, assets and the environment from inadvertent harm caused by non-malicious actors, for instance by bad planning, bad implementation, a bad set of requirements or random failures. Cyber security on...
    • 8 May 2018
  • 5G is Ready, But Can You Test It?

    3GPP declared a major milestone for 5G this past December by announcing the approval of the first 5G New Radio (NR) specifications. But even after that formal milestone, the members of 3GPP will spend at least the next six months finishing addition...
    • 1 May 2018
  • Functional Safety and Networking

    After writing my blog on the functional safety requirements for robots, cobots and mobots I thought it would be interesting to tackle functional safety requirements for networking. The two topics are linked as most robots will be networked as robot...
    • 25 Apr 2018
  • Functional Safety and Artificial Intelligence

    This might be my shortest blog yet. Artificial intelligence comes by many names including machine learning. Systems that understand hand writing are not referred to as AI but rather optical character recognition systems. Deep learning on the other ...
    • 10 Apr 2018
  • Robots, Cobots and Mobots

    Most of my earlier blogs have been on the basics of functional safety because I wanted to cover the fundamentals. I feel now is a good time to cover some more interesting topics and today's topic will be industrial Robots, Cobots and Mobots. I th...
    • 22 Mar 2018
  • The Brave New World of DSPs

    Imagine traveling in a time machine across 140 years, listening from passive gramophones to the latest 16-channel audio video receiver (AVR), and the results would be amazing. It could be bit isolating, too. In the 19th century when the gramophone wa...
    • 15 Mar 2018