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Update: Safety Standard Compliance

By September 8, 2022No Comments

Written by Nicole Pappler, Functional Safety Manager at AlektoMetis and Simon Hein, Safety Committee Chair / Safety Architect at Baumer Group

Trusting the operating system is key in a safety critical application. To target the growing demand to have a platform agnostic and permissible licenced operating system for embedded safety critical systems, the Zephyr Project is working on providing a release that is compliant with the most generic safety standard, the IEC 61508. As most application domain specific safety standards are derived from IEC 61508, this will enable portability of the provided safety case over multiple verticals. This safety release is currently prepared on an auditable branch to be certified to show it’s suitability for criticalities up to SIL 3

For this first safety certification, the scope is limited to the following core components:

This is the high level overview of the safety scope, the definition of the final scope is currently under review by the Safety Committee therefore this diagram is work in progress and subject to change.

The ongoing work to prepare the auditable branch for an independent safety assessment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Creation of a Safety Plan to outline Zephyr’s strategy for the current and future safety releases
  • Upgrading of the required product documentation to satisfy the requirements of IEC 61508
  • Evaluation of a suitable product development build environment

The auditable branch already has been worked on to achieve compliance with suitable coding guidelines. As compliance with certain coding conventions strengthens the general robustness of the code base, these coding guidelines will also be rolled out to the main branch

Full compliance with IEC 61508 up to SIL 3 is planned to be provided by the end of 2023, followed by a third party certification to demonstrate this.

Those interested in following the progress of Safety Certification in Zephyr have a few options:

  1. Join the Zephyr Discord ( and follow the # safety channel
  2. Join the Zephyr Project (membership) and participate in the Safety Committee to help drive efforts forward. 

Additionally, the Zephyr Project’s Safety Committee will be represented at the upcoming Open Source Summit Europe in Dublin this year, so please do drop by to talk to us. There is also a Zephyr Mini Summit on Monday Sept 12th, that you can register for.

Zephyr Project