Boards/Backplanes

Safe CompactPCI PlusIO SBC with QNX support

25th June 2014
Mick Elliott

Men Mikro has introduced the F75P single-board computer that brings functional safety to the board level, using redundant Intel Atom processors. The safe QNX operating system and the corresponding certification package make the F75P a SIL 4 certified turn-key solution. Two out of a total of three Intel Atom E680T processors are set up to be a redundant control unit with 1.6 GHz and 512 MB DDR2 RAM, running with a safe QNX BSP.

Two supervisor units monitor the environmental conditions specified for the two control CPUs and put the system into a safe state, for instance if the maximum operating temperature has been exceeded.

Together with the safe operating system (Safe QNX kernel), the output of a faulty processor is guaranteed not to pass through (fail-silent), and the complete system is shut down in case of an error and a train, for example, is stopped (fail-safe).

The third Intel Atom with 1 GB DDR2 controls I/O. It passes on the commands to the interfaces that were sent by the two control CPUs across an FPGA-based communication interface.

The I/O processor does not run a safe operating system. It is located within what is called the 'Black Channel'. Communication protocols developed according to EN 50159 (Safety-related communication in transmission systems) make for safe communication between the control unit and the I/O.

The standard front I/O of F75P comprises one VGA interface, two Fast Ethernet and two USB, while its J2 rear connector gives access to one PCI Express port, four USB, one SATA and two Fast Ethernet.

To increase the availability of a system, you can also connect two F75P SBCs to form a cluster. An event logger allows tracing and simply reading out hardware and application events.

The F75P is shipped together with a certification package for the hardware and operating system (QNX+BSP), which certifies SIL 4 suitability and includes the Assessment Report, the Safety Case, the Safety User Guide and the certificate of TÜV SÜD.

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