Forums

microcontrollers supported for critical systems

Started by rich...@gmail.com January 9, 2008
Can someone suggest a simple microcontroller that doesn't carry the
"not for use in life support systems as a critical component"
disclaimer?  Having an Ada compiler would be a big plus.  This is
going to be a watchdog for computer components of a medical monitor,
so it doesn't need to be very powerful but it does need to be
reliable.

We've been prototyping using Microchip PICs, and I was looking at the
Atmel AVR series because it can be targeted from Ada, but both of
these refuse to license to medical device manufacturers.  I saw some
TI chips that appear to provide a guarantee of meeting the published
specification, but they are 8051-based and I don't know how good the
compilers are, looked around and found no Ada.

Any suggestions would be quite helpful.  Thanks!
richardvoigt@gmail.com wrote:

> Can someone suggest a simple microcontroller that doesn't carry the > "not for use in life support systems as a critical component" > disclaimer? Having an Ada compiler would be a big plus. This is > going to be a watchdog for computer components of a medical monitor, > so it doesn't need to be very powerful but it does need to be > reliable. > > We've been prototyping using Microchip PICs, and I was looking at the > Atmel AVR series because it can be targeted from Ada, but both of > these refuse to license to medical device manufacturers. I saw some > TI chips that appear to provide a guarantee of meeting the published > specification, but they are 8051-based and I don't know how good the > compilers are, looked around and found no Ada. > > Any suggestions would be quite helpful. Thanks!
As far as I recall from seeing many datasheets and product manuals for processors of all sorts, the disclaimer "NOT FOR CRITICAL SYSTEMS USE" is in just about all of them. However, there is usually a proviso in the text to the effect that if you are considering such applications and you want manufacturers back-up, you can ask the manufacturer to get involved in the design (usually at a cost). Most of us just accept the risk ourselves and design systems with those processors in. We, of course, add the necessary protective measures to ensure the system will stay safe even if the processor does run amok. -- ******************************************************************** Paul E. Bennett...............<email://Paul_E.Bennett@topmail.co.uk> Forth based HIDECS Consultancy Mob: +44 (0)7811-639972 Tel: +44 (0)1235-811095 Going Forth Safely ..... EBA. www.electric-boat-association.org.uk.. ********************************************************************
richardvoigt@gmail.com <richardvoigt@gmail.com> wrote:
> Can someone suggest a simple microcontroller that doesn't carry the > "not for use in life support systems as a critical component" > disclaimer?
TI and Microchip. The TI MSP430 has been designed into many medical devices (including implantables) for several years. However, they may still want you to sign a disclaimer refusing liability as a result of the use of their micros. Until about a year ago, Microchip was not interested in medical applications of their PIC micros. This has since changed. In late 2006, Microchip formed a new business unit called the Medical Products Group (MPG), "to address the emerging challenges of the medical electronics market through close partnerships with medical device makers." Take care, -Chris -- | Christopher Cole, Cole Design and Development cole@coledd.com | | Embedded Software Development and Electronic Design http://coledd.com | | Akron, Ohio, USA 800-518-2154 |
richardvoigt@gmail.com wrote:
> Can someone suggest a simple microcontroller that doesn't carry the > "not for use in life support systems as a critical component" > disclaimer? Having an Ada compiler would be a big plus.
You probably know about the version of the SofCheck AdaMagic compiler that compiles Ada to C: http://www.sofcheck.com/products/adamagic.html Pipe that into a C compiler for your micro, and you have (in principle) and Ada compiler for your micro.
> ... but they are 8051-based and I don't know how good the > compilers are ...
Perhaps you could ask SofCheck about their experience with 8051, or other microcontroller targets, and their recommended C compilers to use with AdaMagic. I don't know if AdaMagic lets you control the memory location (internal, external) of variables from the Ada source, as is almost obligatory for C programs on the 8051. There could well be some Ada-level pragmas for this; ask SofCheck. I might also be a good idea to repeat this question on comp.lang.ada. -- Niklas Holsti Tidorum Ltd niklas holsti tidorum fi . @ .