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May 27, 2016

Board Support Package for MEN’s QNX-powered F75P Safe Computer Earns SIL 4 Certification from TÜV SÜD

MEN Mikro Elektronik today announced that it has achieved certification to EN 50128 Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 4 for the safe board support package (BSP) running on the MEN F75P dual-redundant single-board computer and the QNX® OS for Safety. The F75P computer is the heart of MEN’s Modular Train Control System (MTCS), an open computer platform for automatic train operation and protection.

SIL 4 for Operating System and Hardware

By taking advantage of all three pre-certified building blocks — BSP, computer, and OS — customers can significantly reduce the cost, effort, and risk of achieving system-level certification for their end products. MEN was granted the certification by TÜV SÜD, a renowned international service corporation that focuses on consulting, testing, certification, and training.

Unlike existing solutions that use a fixed, inflexible hardware/software configuration, the MEN Modular Train Control System opens up essential interfaces between the control electronics and user applications. The software architecture of the MTCS system's F75P computer isolates safe and “unsafe” domains in order to save cost and time for application development and certification. MEN achieved this separation through the QNX® OS for Safety, which offers advanced support for application partitioning through its modular microkernel architecture.

The certification package for the safe BSP and the F75P CPU board includes the safety manual, the safety case, and the assessment report from TÜV SÜD. The certification package is also available for just the F75P hardware.

John Wall, Senior Vice President and Head of QNX Software Systems Limited, a BlackBerry subsidiary, says, “We are delighted that MEN has passed SIL 4 certification for their BSP. Having a solution that combines a pre-certified BSP, a pre-certified hardware platform, and the certified QNX OS for Safety can significantly reduce development time and project risk for customers. This integrated solution can provide customers with an easier path to system-level certification and, ultimately, better rail safety."

“We chose QNX not only because its microkernel and partitioning technology is essential to achieving isolation between safety-related components and the rest of the system, but because it is a field-proven realtime OS that supports a broad range of development tools. QNX also supports transparent distributed processing, which allows the application to utilize resources across processor boundaries, which is a key feature for building systems that contain multiple processors,” explains Manfred Schmitz, CEO of MEN Mikro Elektronik.

Based on the SIL 4-certified SBC F75P with the safe BSP, MTCS is the first computer system ever in the history of the railway industry that separates the control application from the underlying hardware platform. Customers benefit from a fast time-to-market, lower risk than a closed solution, lower cost, safe functionality and highest flexibility.


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