SIL4 certification for ControlSafe rail safety platform

Safety Integrity Level 4 (SIL4) certification has been issued for the Artesyn ControlSafe platform. The platform is said to be one of the first embedded computing systems to use commercial off-the-shelf components to create a fail-safe and fault-tolerant computing platform for a range of train control and rail signalling applications.

The platform claims to enable rail application developers and system integrators to accelerate time-to-market without the high costs and risks associated with the SIL4 system development and certification process.

Designed to deliver ‘six nines’ (99.9999%) availability, the platform is said to be suitable for deployment in safety application environments to protect investment in rail infrastructure. It uses a data lock-step architecture that supports high performance modern processors, and is modular, scalable and designed to accommodate additional I/O interfaces as well as processor architectures. In addition, the platform’s hardware-based voting mechanism maximises software transparency to allow rail application developers to migrate existing application software.

The ControlSafe platform consists of two ControlSafe computers (CSC), both delivering fail-safe operation. They are linked by a safety relay box or Direct Connect Algorithm that monitors the health of the two CSCs, designates one as active and the other as standby, and controls fail-over operation between the two. Deployable in both wayside and car borne applications, the platform is designed to support a range of I/O modules such as CAN, Ethernet, Ethernet Ring, UART and MVB.