Compiler Qualification Kit

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TI Compiler Qualification Kit

Introduction

TI is developing a qualification kit for TI's compilers. The kit is intended as an aid in qualifying the TI compiler to meet such safety standards as IEC 61508 and ISO 26262. The process involved in using the kit to qualify a TI compiler was developed by Validas AG, a consulting company in the area of embedded software engineering specializing in tool qualification. Validas has developed a model-based approach to tool qualification that is flexible, reusable, and consistent. See www.validas.de for more information on this company. This TI compiler qualification kit process has been approved by TÛV Nord, one of the largest technical service providers in Europe. A report written by TÛV Nord documenting this approval, which will be included in the kit documentation, states:

The qualification kit for the TI C/C++ compiler consisting of the documents referenced in Ch. 4.2 (of the qualification kit User Guide), provides the user of the TI C/C++ compiler a sufficient tool and measure for evaluating and validating a software tool for the use within safety-relevant developments.
The requirements of [ISO 26262] (Part 8, Chapter 11) on classification and qualification of software tools as well as the requirements of [IEC 61508] (Part 3, Chapter 7.4.4) on the tool validation can be sufficiently fulfilled by applying the qualification kit.

Schedule

A release of the ARM qualification kit is expected in July 2013. See this ti.com pagefor more details. A qualification kit for other TI processors such as C6x and C28x is currently planned for 4Q 2013.

Using The TI Qualification Kit

Safety standards (ISO 26262, IEC 61508, DO-178/DO-330) require users to analyze the tools they will be using in the development of their safety-critical products. Users must create a statement on the reliability of each tool in a tool evaluation report. This report must contain an analysis of the use case of the tool, all potential errors within that use case, any detectable errors and any remaining errors. If there are critical errors that cannot be detected or avoided within the use case, the software tool must be qualified.

The TI compiler qualification kit can aid in qualification by providing a validation process that can be used to show the absence of the critical errors that are not detected or avoided. The kit will also provide a tool and templates that can be used to generate the necessary documents required by the safety standards.

The kit process is shown in the following diagram:

Process1.jpg

The tool analysis must identify 3 classifications of errors:

  1. Potential errors in unused features.
  2. Detectable or avoidable errors.
  3. Any remaining errors. Tool qualification must demonstrate the absence of these errors.

The safety manual must list how each classification of errors is handled. For undetected errors it is necessary to generate a tool qualification plan, outlining the plan for qualification, followed by a tool qualification report, documenting the results of qualification. The compiler qualification kit provides tools for generating these reports for a user's specific use case of the compiler. Qualification is obtained by running the test cases in the kit that are tied to critical potential errors of the compiler. Documentation on how these tests show the absence of the critical error will included in the kit.

In summary, using the TI compiler qualification kit involves the following steps:

  1. Based on the use case of the compiler, the user will use the kit to generate a tool evaluation report. The user will be able to document their features used, errors that will be detected or avoided, and any remaining errors.
  2. For remaining critical errors that must be qualified, the kit will provide a way to generate a tool qualification plan that will document those test cases that must be run to show the absence of the critical error, thus validating the use of the compiler.
  3. The kit will provide a framework for running these test cases, ideally on a customer's emulation board.
  4. The result of running the test cases will be used to create the tool qualification report. This documents the results of validation.
  5. The kit will provide a way to generate the safety manual, documenting the correct use of the TI compiler for safety development.