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IEC 61508

IEC 61508 Compliance With Parasoft

What Is IEC 61508?

IEC 61508 is considered a basic or “umbrella” international standard for functional safety. IEC 61508 can be applied for any kind of safety-related electrical/electronic product. Industry sectors are supposed to provide their own specific standards, documents, and guidelines as needed (for example ISO 26262 in automotive). IEC 61508 encompasses the entire safety lifecycle of safety-critical systems. It contains 4 Normative parts (1-4) plus 3 informative or “guideline” parts (5-7). Certification for IEC 61508 is optional – the standard does not require this specifically.

The IEC 61508 technical standard introduces the concept of Safety Integrity Level (SIL). SIL can take one of the four levels (SIL1-SIL4) corresponding to the range of a given safety function’s target likelihood of dangerous failures. Each safety function in a safety-related system needs to have an appropriate safety integrity level assigned. An E/E/PE safety-related system will usually implement more than one safety function. If the safety integrity requirements for these safety functions differ, unless there is sufficient independence of implementation between them, the requirements applicable to the highest relevant safety integrity level apply to the entire E/E/PE safety-related system.

Enforcing IEC 61508 Compliance With Source Code Analysis, Unit Testing, Traceability, & More

Parasoft users can leverage Parasoft C/C++test and C/C++test CT to reduce the cost of achieving IEC 61508 compliance by automating multiple testing methods required by the standard to save time and effort. Parasoft C/C++test helps industrial automation software development teams satisfy the software development and verification process requirements defined by the IEC 61508 standard. When results of the broad range of testing and code analysis types automated through Parasoft C/C++test and C/C++test CT are processed, intelligent analytics are reported that significantly reduces the work required for software verification.

How Parasoft Services Help Achieve IEC 61508 Compliance

Parasoft C/C++test is an integrated development testing solution for automating a broad range of best practices proven to improve software development team productivity and software quality, including:

  • Static analysis: monitor coding standards compliance and prevent defects early in the SDLC, including the elimination of the software constructs that pose security threats
  • Unit testing: create and execute tests on the host or target
  • Coverage metrics analysis: identify gaps testing, requirements and code coverage
  • Runtime error detection: detect memory access errors, leaks, corruptions, and more

These technologies give teams a practical way to prevent, expose, and correct errors in order to ensure that their C and C++ code works as expected and complies with requirements. To promote rapid remediation, each problem detected is prioritized based on configurable severity assignments, automatically assigned to the developer who wrote the related code, and distributed to his or her IDE with direct links to the problematic code and a description of how to fix it. For embedded and cross-platform development, Parasoft C/C++test can be used in both host-based and target-based code analysis and test flows.

Text on left in white font on dark blue background: Guide to Achieving Functional Safety in Industrial Automation: How to Satisfy IEC 61508 SIL Requirements. On right is an image of robotic arms facing downward and welding metal with sparks flying like an extra large sparkler.

Guide to Achieving Functional Safety in Industrial Automation: How to Satisfy IEC 61508 SIL Requirements

IEC 61508 functional standards reduce software risks. Read this document to learn how Parasoft can help software development teams meet requirements for particular SIL levels. It helps you understand the SIL as defined by the IEC 61508 standard, and demonstrates how Parasoft can be used to satisfy software development process requirements for particular SIL levels.