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June 17, 2020

Ensuring Functional Safety of Automotive Semiconductors

From autonomous driving capabilities to cameras and infotainment systems, consumers are demanding richer functionality and higher levels of performance. These new functions require more computational power and increase the complexity of semiconductor designs.

Because they are tiny, it’s easy to overlook the importance of semiconductors that underlie reliable automotive performance. However, these small systems enable larger electronic networks to control every aspect of a car’s performance

More and more subsystems are controlled by automotive
electronics — from starters to infotainment systems.

Recognizing the growing role of semiconductors, as well as their essential contribution to automotive safety, the Road Vehicle — Functional Safety Standard, also known as ISO 26262, recently expanded to explicitly include semiconductor components in the scope of functional safety analysis for road vehicles.

This means that automotive engineers need to ensure the safety of the vehicle from the system level to chip level. To do this, they will have to go beyond manual processes and produce documentation to verify the functional safety of all electronic systems.

To learn how to meet these new standards, map semiconductor designs to key functions and verify their safety, read the white paper: 3D Heterogenous Integration: Design and Verification Challenges

The Challenges of Assessing the Functional Safety of Automotive Electronics

Functional safety experts have traditionally looked at automotive system architectures to identify potential failure modes, the probability of failure and how the system will respond to each error.

Semiconductors bring an added layer of complexity to this process. The experts are now expected to look beneath the surface of these components and determine how a flaw in a single chip, for example, could manifest itself in the car’s overall performance.

As more and more subsystems are controlled by automotive electronics, functional safety analysis will become more complex.

In order to accomplish this analysis, engineers must:

  • Consider thousands of operating scenarios
  • Determine and analyze potential failure modes that might occur
  • Map blocks of the semiconductor design to system functions, such as airbag control, within the overall electronics architecture
  • Identify design weaknesses
  • Mitigate the impact of design weaknesses on the car’s day-to-day safe performance

How can this be completed in a rapid, cost-effective manner?

A Workflow that Ensures ISO 26262 Compliance for Automotive Semiconductors

Ansys medini analyze makes this analysis possible. It remains a trusted solution for streamlining and automating functional safety analysis across the entire electronics architecture — including down to the chip level.

Implementing this workflow offers benefits such as:

  • Semiconductor analysis integrated with overall systems analysis
  • Increased speed and efficiency for functional safety compliance that fulfills the requirements of the semiconductor specific ISO 26262: 2018 part 11



Ansys medini analyze makes it possible to ensure automotive semiconductor compliance.

  • Automatic document generation to demonstrate comprehensive system analysis and verification of safe performance
  • Synchronization with other leading solutions in the Ansys software suite, enabling diverse tasks to be completed rapidly, with a high level of transparency and visibility

By reducing development costs and time to market — while maximizing innovation and product confidence — medini analyze can help companies achieve a significant competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Ready to streamline your safety analysis efforts? Request an Ansys medini analyze trial.

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