Over the past several years, automotive suppliers have made substantial investments to meet ISO 26262 requirements, often leading to significant increases in development costs. Maturing the application of the standard and moving towards systematic and automated development methods is critical to achieve and sustain success.
Thanks to ease-of-use and capacity advances, formal-based methodologies have achieved recent wide adoption in the industry. Formal verification is widely recognized as a powerful technique to uncover hardware design bugs that might otherwise escape simulation-based verification and lead to systematic failures. A key characteristic of formal tools is the ability to examine design behavior exhaustively, without the need for input stimuli, and prove that the design never deviates from its intended function, as specified by a property or assertion. Even for simple designs, simulation tools cannot achieve this level of precision. Formal tools have multiple applications for both systematic and random fault verification.
This white paper fosters an understanding of the general framework of the ISO 26262 standard, with particular focus on digital hardware development. It discusses how formal tools have addressed specific challenges in the efficient development of safety-critical hardware, significantly transforming both the quality and efficiency of the verification process, and streamlining the activities required to satisfy the ISO 26262 standard.