What is FUSA?

A new acronym is making its rounds. Fusa, or you sometimes read about Fusa-Ready products. You can read what's behind it here.

Embedded Security mit Schloss
Andreas Pfeiffer Portrait

Fusa stands for Functional Safety - a property of devices and systems to be safe. Safe in the sense of safety that no one is harmed in the event of malfunctions. So Fusa is actually nothing new. Except that safety is already supported in many semiconductors, software libraries and development tools.

safe is safe

Embedded Systems with safety

An embedded system with safety usually consists of redundant function blocks that are monitored or monitor each other. If a circuit fails, clever system design and a little probability calculation ensure that the system switches to a safe state.

For example, if you press the emergency stop button, the system must come to a safe stop. If the connection to the emergency stop button is faulty for whatever reason, the system must detect this and also stop the plant.

Ginzinger Embedded Hardware Software Integration

Holistic analysis

It is always important to make a holistic analysis with Fusa systems:

  •     What can go wrong?
  •     How high is the probability that something will go wrong?
  •     How high is the threat potential, i.e. how many people could be injured or even killed?
  •     What countermeasures does one take to become "safe"?

Errors can also occur anywhere: During development, when chips fail during operation, due to operating errors or external influences. In Fusa systems, such errors must never lead to a threat to life and limb.

Control mechanism

Fusa-Ready components

With a machine, this is still manageable. With a high-speed train, a car or an airplane in motion, you have to apply higher standards. Such systems cannot simply be stopped. In the event of a fault, they must continue to function and, if necessary, brake in an orderly manner or land safely. Fusa-Ready components already offer integrated mechanisms to make systems safe. These can be microcontrollers with two or more independent cores.

But they can also be turnkey software libraries to meet the requirements of safe communication, for example. While safety used to be something special, it is increasingly becoming a standard feature of many applications. That is why component manufacturers are now offering more and more Fusa-Ready products.

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