Functional safety

A critical element for any system deployed within a vehicle, robot, factory and beyond

What is functional safety?

At the highest level, functional safety enables the ability to detect, diagnose and safely mitigate the occurrence of any fault, preventing harm to people and the environment.

The expectation is that the levels of safeness continually improve, and this creates a challenge throughout the development process to ensure suitable capabilities and processes are included. 

Latest News

Arm receives the functional safety certificate from TÜV Rheinland for the Arm Cortex-R5 processor. Click below to view the certificate.

Which markets require functional safety?

Arm and the Arm ecosystem partners are providing the technology that enables robust safety, whilst maintaining high performance capability, across a range of markets and applications.


  • Autonomous driving
  • Environmentally-friendly engines


  • Rail signalling
  • Train door interlock systems


  • Factory automation
  • Smart robotics


  • Robotic surgery
  • Advanced medical mobility


  • Flight control systems
  • Cockpit instrumentation

Other Arm markets

Looking for more information on Arm markets?
Visit our Arm markets page below.

What standards and features are required for functional safety?

Arm IP and software are designed to satisfy the widest range of applications, and are therefore, designed “out of context”. That’s why everyone in the integrated circuit (IC) supply chain has a key role to play in the pursuit of safety certification for the end user – whether it’s IP, software, or tools.

End applications must be certified in accordance with market-specific standards (see picture) and Arm is capable of supporting customers and manufacturers in their certification processes of Arm based devices.

To ensure the best outcomes for our technology and customers, Arm plays a key and active role in the development of international guidelines – for example, ISO26262.


Minimize risk with systematic capabilities and design assurance

Arm’s rigorous approach to design and verification of safety-related products enables silicon manufacturers to adhere to the Systematic Capabilities or Design Assurance requirements at the same time. This minimizes the risk of systematic fault and relieves silicon manufacturers of the time and financial burdens involved with exhaustive verification.

Software Test Libraries

Shorten time to market with Software Test Libraries

Arm is building a portfolio of highly optimized software test libraries (STLs) that can be used in conjunction with its extensive range of CPUs targeted for use in safety systems. These STLs have a common Application Programmer Interface (API) that enables the developer to scale software stacks across multiple CPU systems with relative ease. The libraries are also undergoing safety certification, resulting in shorter time to market and confidence that the user’s system will reach industry assessment requirements.

  • Boot diagnostics execute whilst a system in coming on line and can be destructive in nature with less of a real-time execution requirement.

  • Run time diagnostics execute during normal system operation, and therefore, must not destroy any data and complete their specific function in a clearly defined time (usually defined as Worst Case Execution Time).
See Arm Cortex-R52

Related processors and software

Read the Whitepaper

Functional safety is about ensuring that products operate safely and do so even when they go wrong. Andrew Hopkins shares insights on why you can’t choose to ignore it.

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