ARM: Compiler 6 simplifies functional safety

To accelerate the process for meeting functional safety requirements, ARM announced the safety package for its latest-generation C/C++ compilation toolchain ARM Compiler 6. The package consists of the safety-certified ARM Compiler toolchain, compiler qualification kit and long-term support and maintenance service. The ARM Compiler 6 safety package simplifies safety certification while also giving developers at automakers and autonomous system OEMs the most efficient C and C++ code-generation tool for their ARM-based hardware platforms.

ARM Compiler is already widely used in functional safety today in verticals such as medical, avionics, industrial, railway, energy and automotive. ARM engineering has now built on that expertise and further tuned the new compilation toolchain for an increasingly diverse range of safety-related applications across the ARM Cortex-A, Cortex-R and Cortex-M processor families. While ADAS and autonomous driving push the envelope of runtime performance and compute power requirements, systems such as medical devices require minimal memory footprint and high energy efficiency. ARM Compiler 6 delivers on both. On particular synthetic automotive and industrial workloads, for instance, code built with ARM Compiler 6 runs as much as 30 percent faster than when built with its previous generation, ARM Compiler 5. Moreover, further improvements to code size optimization and the tiny C Microlib library enable the toolchain to be used in even the most tightly memory-constrained embedded applications.

The safety package will include the certificate and related reports from TÜV SÜD, a recognized safety industry expert, once the assessment is complete, confirming that ARM Compiler 6 meets the highest level of tool qualification requirements for ISO 26262 (automotive), IEC 61508 (industrial), EN 50128 (railway) and IEC 62304 (medical). Crucially, this means it can be used at any safety integrity level without further qualification efforts in such applications when the qualification kit’s recommendations are followed. The kit, containing a comprehensive set of instructions, safety manual and reports, can also be used as evidence for justifying toolchain selection irrespective of the safety standard targeted. Finally, to ensure peace of mind over the lifetime of safety systems, the certified compiler branch will receive stability patches and bug fixes over an extended maintenance period.