- 08 June 2020
- Benny Har-Even
As we move to an ever more autonomously driven world, Imagination is delighted to announce that it has received an ISO 26262 Statement of Process Conformance from HORIBA MIRA, a provider of independent testing and consultancy to the automotive sector. For those that aren’t familiar with the intricacies of the automotive industry safety this might not mean much, so let us explain.
Safety in cars is continually evolving. Originally cars didn’t have seatbelts, but today, no one would dream of getting in a car and not clicking one into place. Later, electronic systems were introduced such as antilock braking systems, stability, and traction control, and again, these are now part and parcel of what is expected in all cars, regardless of price. These days electronics control virtually every system in the car, and as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) evolve, this is only going to be more pronounced.
To guide auto manufacturers in this area the industry has a safety standard for the development of automotive electronics systems called ISO 26262. It is there to ensure the safe behaviour of in-car electronics, even in the presence of faults. In the real world, this means that in the highly unlikely event of an electronics failure the system will identify that a fault has occurred and allow the driver to continue to operate the car safely until it can be repaired.
There are four automotive safety integrity levels defined by ISO 26262; described as ASIL A to ASIL D, with A being the lowest level and D the highest. Therefore, for several years Imagination has been working to ensure its processes meet the requirements of ISO 26262. Achieving this standard requires a significant amount of rigour. Imagination has been delivering automotive-grade IP into the industry for over 15 years. In fact, we are already the leader in the market with a greater than 40% market share, working with the top three suppliers to provide their automotive graphics.
Therefore, it involved a coordinated internal effort to elevate our quality management processes to meet the requirements of ISO 26262. Pleasingly, following a series of audits by HORIBA MIRA, we received a statement of conformance that states that our quality management system is appropriate for the development and realisation of hardware and software components for use in automotive applications, up to and including ASIL B.
We are naturally proud of this achievement, and in its evaluation, HORIBA MIRA not only noted our commitment to establishing a safety culture but stated that it was rare to see an organisation implement a process so rapidly and so thoroughly.
Of course, we understand that this is not the end of the story: in many ways, it’s just the beginning. It marks an important milestone that is one of many in our roadmap that will keep us at the forefront of automotive developments. For example, we have also recently created a groundbreaking functionally safe graphics driver based on the OpenGL® SC standard.
As electronics become fundamental to every operation in the car, safety will be an ever-present priority. With this statement of ISO 26262 capability, our customers in the automotive industry can have increased confidence that Imagination will continue to work continue to adhere to ISO 26262 to enable them to use our IP to build class-leading technology for graphics and compute.