The China Academy of Railway Sciences (CARS), nurtures technological innovation and core competitiveness in railway transportation, integrating scientific research, development, production and consultation and winning more than 800 prizes for its scientific research since its founding in 1950.
CARS initiative has driven commercialisation and enterprise of railway sciences and so examined new ways to manage the development and testing of a new communications signal control system that had to meet the stiffest of high-speed rail standards – the EN 50128 SIL Level 4.
Achieving compliance across complex, multitool platforms threatens project efficiency
In addition to meeting regulatory challenges, CARS was faced with a complex system that used various hardware platforms, including PowerPC, ARM, and x86, as well as Linux and multiple RTOS and development platforms.
CARS needed software verification tools able to provide MISRA C and MISRA C++ programming standards checking, metrics analysis, unit and integration testing and MCDC code coverage analysis on all of the development platforms. In-house tools no longer made sense.
CARS decided the best way to manage the multiple platforms and development environments was through a third-party certification provider. And, with nearly 40 years of working in the embedded space, LDRA had already ported its tool suite to all the microcontroller and microprocessor platforms and supported all versions of IDE and RTOS used in the project.
As well, CARS needed a broad portfolio of verification services. The safety integrity level for each smart instrument in the signal control system determined the extent of software testing. For EN 50128, SIL Level 1, CARS had to run static analysis to expose any significant coding errors. For SIL Level 2, where additional stringency is required, dynamic analysis ensures that the code executes as specified.
To comprehensively address the software development lifecycle, the LDRA tool suite automates a broad portfolio of integrated test and verification competencies.
The integration and broad support of the LDRA tool suite increased testing efficiency, delivering immediate cost savings and improved quality.
The LDRA tool suite has continued to help CARS extend its prowess in designing quality high-speed rail technology, securing four more EN 50128 certified systems. The LDRA tool suite now plays a baseline role in CARS development, enforcing MISRA C and MISRA C++ compliance in all CARS software projects.