QNX announces IEC 61508 certification service for safety-critical systems

For decades, developers have been using the QNX RTOS in hydro plants, nuclear reactors, railway communication systems, emergency dispatch centers, and a multitude of other safety-critical environments.

Like software-based systems everywhere, the monitoring and control applications in these environments are growing in complexity. And the more complex they become, the greater the demand for safety standards and certifications. Chief among these is IEC 61508, an international standard for the functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable safety-related systems.

Achieving IEC 61508 certification isn't easy. To earn it, your product must undergo a rigorous assessment by an independent certification body. For instance, QNX Software Systems started the process of certifying the QNX Neutrino RTOS to IEC 61508 Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3) last year and expects to achieve certification this June. And that's for a product with a proven history in safety-critical environments.

Still, for customers building safety-critical systems, using an 61508-certified RTOS is just the beginning. In most cases, customers also have to certify the larger system that incorporates the RTOS. To help customers navigate the complexities of the IEC 61508 certification process, up to and including SIL 3, QNX has announced a new IEC 61508 Certification Support Package.

According to the press release, the package includes "consulting services and a confidence-in-use manual, which provide professional knowledge and expertise based on years of experience in QNX technology, process-oriented development, and certification audits." The package also provides "documented confidence-in-use data, which can serve as important building blocks for a customer’s certification program."

For the full text of the press release, click here. For more information on QNX's certification programs, click here.

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