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Developing Functional Safety Applications With Microchip FPGAs

Functional safety helps to build trust and confidence in electronic systems. It reduces the risk of liability and financial losses. Microchip functional safety package allows customers to achieve an approved safety system more easily at lower costs and accelerates time-to-market.

Introduction to Functional Safety

Functional safety is a critical aspect of modern technology design. It involves designing systems that can detect and prevent dangerous or hazardous situations. New technology brings new ways for a system containing electronics to fail. Failures can cause harm to people and property. Although it is impossible to guarantee a system will never fail, it is possible to reduce the risk of failure by designing systems so that when they do fail, they fail safely. One widely accepted international standard for functional safety is IEC 61508 for industrial applications.

Microchip Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are certified to the functional safety standard IEC 61508. Systems used in high-reliability commercial aviation, space, defense, automotive and industrial applications require certification defined by the IEC 61508 safety standard. The highest level supported in a single chip is Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3. Microchip FPGAs have a strong heritage in high reliability applications, and our industrial functional safety package is our commitment towards safety-critical and high-reliability industrial applications.

Microchip FPGAs reduce total system costs by eliminating the need for an external boot device for FPGA configuration needed for SRAM-based FPGAs. Microchip FPGAs are known for security, power efficiency and reliability (single-event upset or SEU immunity) and have many families that are certified according to IEC 61508 up to SIL 3 by assessor TÜV Rhineland. These families include our third-generation IGLOO® FPGAs, ProASIC® 3 FPGAs and SmartFusion® FPGAs. Microchip FPGA recently added our 4th generation IGLOO® 2 FPGAs and SmartFusion® 2 SoCs. Microchip is working to add additional products to be compliant with the ISO 26262 Certification for automotive applications.

Safety critical industrial designs need to be certified to the IEC 61508 specification. Based on this existing safety-certification, developers can reduce their risk by leveraging Microchip FPGAs and our Functional Safety Package. The functional safety package includes the Libero® SoC software tools and tool flow as well as selected IPs, which are certified for use in functional safety system by TÜV Rhineland. This enables customers to achieve an approved safety system much more easily at lower costs and accelerate time-to-market.

Microchip FPGA IEC 61508 Functional Safety Portfolio

To learn more, visit our Microchip FPGAs Functional Safety web page.


Functional safety is becoming increasingly important as designers depend upon the ability to detect a potentially dangerous condition and activate a protective or corrective action to prevent hazardous events. Microchip FPGAs are well suited in safety critical domains and applications, offering SEU immunity, power efficiency, security and functional safety certification.

Gautam Kotwal, Jun 15, 2023

Tags/Keywords: Industrial and IoT

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