• 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
  • IEC 61508 A Deep Dive

    Last time I promised my next blog would feature a deep dive into IEC 61508, the main functional safety standard. And I keep my promises, however, this will be the last of my introductory blogs covering basic topics for a while. I am keen to mo...
    • 13 Mar 2018
  • Extreme IoT: The Challenge of Reliable Wireless

    A complex systems challenge needs a comprehensive systems solution. The IoT is a system. A system with far-reaching capabilities, opportunities and benefits. All of which come with significant complexity for those looking to harness its vast p...
    • 6 Mar 2018
  • Safety Matters: A Sampling of Functional Safety Standards

    In my last Blog, I promised a discussion on the various functional safety standards. As someone once said about standards, the great thing about standards is “that there are so many to choose from”. IEC 61508 is what is referred to as an A level o...
    • 27 Feb 2018
  • An Olympic Level of Precision Measurement

    In a sport where victory and defeat are often separated by 1/100th of a second, it was surprising when both the German and Canadian two-man bobsled teams won gold medals at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics after finishing with exactly the same ...
    • 22 Feb 2018
  • Extreme IoT Requires Knowing When

    As part of the evolution of the IoT, more information is needed than simply increasing the number of sensors in a system and measuring more modalities. I’ve previously spoken about clever partitioning of systems and breaking an IoT system into what...
    • 20 Feb 2018
  • Safety Matters: 3 Key Requirements

    In my last Blog, I posed the question “What are 3 key requirements for a safety integrity level?”. A functional safety standard such as IEC 61508 runs to over 700 pages across 7 parts. However, the requirements can be summarized under 3 key requir...
    • 13 Feb 2018
  • Welcome to the Extreme IoT

    At its highest level, the Internet of Things is frequently mentioned in the same breath as the increasing number of connected sensors.   But as the IoT continues to evolve, so too does our understanding of what it will look like and how it w...
    • 6 Feb 2018
  • Safety Matters: What are Safety Integrity Levels?

    In my last Blog I posed the question “What are Safety Integrity levels?”. A safety integrity level according to IEC 61508 is “discrete level (one out of a possible four), corresponding to a range of safety integrity values, where….”. Actually, the...
    • 1 Feb 2018
  • Why Are DSPs Critical to Your Audio Design?

    DSPs and audio decoding are critical elements to delivering the type of high quality audio that today’s consumers expect. Today will be the first blog in a series that examines this topic; starting with an overview of why DSPs are critical to audio...
    • 31 Jan 2018
  • EngineerZone 2017 Year in Review

    You've clinked your glasses and made your resolutions, many of which I suspect you've already broken. Before 2017 becomes a speck in our rear view mirrors let's take one final look back. EngineerZone is a thriving community of customers, partners,...
    • 31 Jan 2018