Wirral, UK, 1 March 2011. LDRA launches support for the IEC 61508 and IEC 61508:2010 standards, functional safety standards for electrical/electronic/programmable electronic (E/E/PE) systems, from requirements through design, code, analysis and certification. As a broad functional safety standard applicable to a wide range of industries, the IEC 61508 standard focuses on risk reduction and the safety lifecycle for equipment and systems under software control.

The IEC 61508 standard focuses on reducing risk through adherence to a safety lifecycle and applying testing practices based on appropriate safety integrity levels. IEC 61508 establishes the level of safety risk for a system or system component using four levels (1–4) Safety Integrity Levels (SIL) where Level 4 represents the highest risk with the most stringent safety requirements.

IEC 61508 translates these SILs into software-specific objectives where the rigour of testing hinges on whether the system involves low or high/continuous demand situations. In addition, developers must follow IEC 61508’s defined 16-phase safety lifecycle, which requires a complete software development plan that demonstrates fulfilment of requirements through all stages of development.

With more than 35 years experience in software quality and certification, LDRA brings an integrated tool suite and extensive experience to companies needing to implement IEC 61508. Reaching beyond simple standards checking, the LDRA tool suite automatically checks compliance to the IEC 61508 standard through all stages of the software development lifecycle.

In addition to coding rule compliance, code complexity metrics, code coverage metrics (including statement, branch/decision and MC/DC), dataflow analysis and host/target testing, the LDRA tool suite extends IEC 61508 compliance for software safety and system requirements traceability down to the processor level. With automated documentation, proof of compliance is included throughout all stages of development.

“Standards organisations continue to recognise the importance of a software development plan that demonstrates that the device does what it was intended to do,” noted Ian Hennell, LDRA’s Operations Director. “LDRA’s ability to enforce a standard and trace a system’s requirements through design, code, analysis, testing and verification goes beyond other offerings on the market today. We are committed to software quality standards and to provide the code coverage metrics that ensure each line of code has been fully tested and verified.”

To launch its support of IEC 61508, LDRA is providing an in depth webinar and white paper. To learn more about LDRA’s support of IEC 61508:

Download the IEC 61508 white paper at  
Join the IEC 61508 webinar running live on 15 March 2011. Registration details are available at