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Components | September 06, 2012

Infineon heads business and research collaboration

Twenty four European partners have joined the “VeTeSS” project, headed by Infineon Technologies AG, to look at standardized, reliable and cost-effective development methods to help avoid errors in subcomponents leading to the malfunction of the entire safety system.
VeTeSS, stands for “Verification and Test Support for Safety Standards".

There are a total of 24 European partners from the automotive industry and its connected areas working on the VeTeSS research project. Besides Infineon, its German partners include the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, TWT GmbH Science & Innovation, ikv++ technologies AG and exida.com Excellence in Dependable Automation GmbH.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting the research project with Euro 2.5 million and the European Union is contributing Euro 3.2 million.

The objective of the VeTeSS project partners is to prepare new automated processes for safety system and subcomponent development in accordance with ISO 26262. With VeTeSS, procedures for the reliability and performance testing in the design phase of the safety system and subcomponents will be standardized for the first time.

This will make it possible to correct errors at an earlier stage and further improve the quality and durability of the electrical and electronic safety systems in the vehicle. What is more, the risk of error will be reduced during the certification process that is typically required to prove the efficiency of the safety system.

VeTeSS: New design methods to fulfill future safety standards for vehicles

Introduced at the end of 2011, the ISO 26262 standard is intended to assure the functionality of the increasingly complex electrical and electronic systems responsible for safety-related functions in vehicles. The standard defines the requirements of the safety functions in the vehicle and includes guidelines for the development process.

Modern semiconductor technologies improve system performance and the energy efficiency of electronic control units in vehicles. In addition, they facilitate the use of increasingly small transistors and thus more intelligent systems.

However, growing complexity increases the risk of design errors during the development process. That is why it is necessary to test and verify the electronic systems and their subcomponents throughout this phase. Until now, each manufacturer developed its own individual in-house methods.

The ISO standard 26262 however stipulates a standard and automated test method, which is now being developed by the VeTeSS partners. This will also make it possible for subcomponents to be certified individually or in connection with a specific overall system and then integrated into different systems, such as electrical power steering, electronic stability control or anti-lock braking systems.

Tasks of the German VeTeSS partners

exida.com, an internationally recognized certification body, will share its know-how during the implementation of the ISO 26262, and will make the VeTeSS results usable for industrial applications. The IIS-Design Automation Division EAS of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is developing methods and tools for the rapid evaluation of the entire system, which includes intelligent sensor technology, the electronic control unit with the microcontroller and power electronics.

ikv++ technologies, as a supplier of analysis and design methods for the automotive market, will work on the definition of requirements for the use and development of demonstrators. In terms of the ISO 26262 standard, TWT GmbH Science & Innovation will contribute its know-how in digital product development and develop complex simulation methods to identify possible errors quickly and reliably.

TWT is also responsible for the requirements analysis for ISO 26262-based information management. Infineon is in charge of verifying hardware and software components and developing the test software.

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