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Creating customized safety I/Os

TTTech (Austria) has developed a multi-purpose Generic Safety Controller Board with a CAN communication interface. This board allows creating customized safety I/Os for stand-alone use or as part of fail-operational networked control systems.

The board is based on components designed to address functional safety requirements (Photo: TTTech)

THE BOARD WAS DEVELOPED ACCORDING TO IEC 61508 and it is certifiable for use in applications with SIL-2 requirements. It implements diagnostic tests that are executed periodically at runtime and enables the implementation of safety controller units with multiple safety-related I/O interfaces in various form factors. A customized I/O board in combination with the generic safety controller board and appropriate housing forms a safety controller unit. The board features 3 MiB internal Flash with ECC, 256 KiB internal RAM with ECC, and it has a start-up time of less than 200 ms (including self test), and a failure reaction time of less than 50 ms (including anti-glitch behavior).

This board offers CAN, RS232, SPI, and a dual channel deterministic Ethernet (TT-Ethernet) communication interface.
It also contains a dual-core lockstep TMS570 MCU (Hercules) from Texas Instruments (USA) in combination with the "safety companion" chip for power monitoring, CPU watchdog function, and fail-safe code execution. I/O interfaces available for the user’s safety control applications include GPIO (general purpose digital inputs and outputs), analog inputs, PWM outputs, and advanced I/O functions using the NHET unit. The board’s environmental operating temperature ranges from -40 °C to 85 °C.

"With our Generic Safety Controller Board we address various industrial applications with high availability and safety requirements," stated Dr. Markus Plankensteiner, Director Sales & Marketing Industrial at TTTech. "The board is intended to be implemented within custom-designed hardware I/O structures satisfying the system integrator’s needs." The board comes with safety certifiable firmware, run-time system, and drivers for I/O and network interfaces.