Electronic systems have progressively increased their role in the safety critical environments, and is affecting a wide range of industries, including the rail one. Additionally, software implemented in this equipment has moved to more complicated and composite code. Consequently, the development requires a high integrity code, which is a tough task.
Unlike IEC 61508, which covers the whole system, EN 50128 is an industry standard, providing a set of requirements with which the development, deployment and maintenance of any safety-related software intended for railway control and protection applications shall comply. It defines requirements concerning organizational structure, the relationship between organizations and the division of responsibility involved in the development, deployment and maintenance activities.
Currently the systems included under this industry standard include signaling, railway control and train protection. The intention is to extend the scope to incorporate the entire railway system, including rolling stock.
Since achieving EN 50128 requires robust code, the cost and the time of the development process can escalate rapidly. Yet, PRQA’s static analysis tools QA·C and QA·C++ significantly impact this process positively and combined with MISRA, they provide deep accurate dataflow and a mechanism for coding standards enforcement.
Moreover, PRQA is a pioneer in coding standards inspection. The company is recognized worldwide as a synonym of coding standards expert, due to its industry-leading software inspection and standards enforcement technology.
QA·C with MISRA C and QA·C++ with an extended MISRA C++ have been certified by SGS-TÜV SAAR as fit for purpose to develop safety-related software up to SIL 4 according to EN 50128 when used as described in the Safety Manual.
EN 50128 does not state which particular coding standard must be used, but ‘a coding standard’ must be used for SSIL 3 and 4 and is Highly Recommended for SIL 0, 1 and 2.
Most coding standards aim to subset the language to constrain developers to using only well defined areas of the language. Constructs which are hard to use correctly or may vary between implementations may be permitted, but with strict rules on how they can be used. The MISRA coding standard meets this requirement.
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“Using a software verification tool that is already certified to EN 50128 is vital. This accelerated our development times, reduced our overall cost and mitigated our risk.”