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Tool Suite Provides Requirements to Object-Code Traceability

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In the safety-critical domain, devices required to meet the most critical levels of certification must verify software traceability from requirements through design to code at both source- and object-code levels. Now a tool suite from LDRA offers full requirements to object-code traceability, ensuring that verification problems found at the object-code level can be quickly and easily traced to the originating source code and requirements levels. 

Evidence that all lines of software have been fully tested at the source- and object-code levels is becoming more important for a number of industries. DO-178C, the new avionics software standard, will soon mandate this for the most critical software, and the medical and automotive industries are recognizing that this verification process is equally valuable in their environments. Discrepancies caused by compiler interpretation or program optimization can lead to code verification passing at the source level, but failing at the object-code level. 

Tracing the object code—also referred to as assembler code—back to the originating high-level source code is a tedious, time-consuming challenge without requirements to object-code traceability. LDRA pioneered requirements to object-code traceability to reduce the time and risk for companies developing embedded software that must meet the highest levels of safety standards. 

In the past, many companies needing to meet stringent certification requirements verified their object code using in-house tools. However, with the adoption of more complex architectures, engineering teams no longer have in-house expertise on the modern architectures, nor can they afford to develop and maintain complex object-level verification tools for project-specific implementations. LDRA equips developers with the ability to review code instruction by instruction, while eliminating the cost of developing and maintaining tools in-house.

“In the medical community where 510k filings take 18 months or longer to be processed for compliance with the Medical Devices Act, there’s an understandable desire to develop, test and file for compliance as soon as possible,” commented Dr. Jerry Krasner, principal analyst of Embedded Market Forecasters. “Software verification tools, particularly those that automate requirements traceability to object code, provide an additional level of confidence that code has been thoroughly executed, tested against requirements and verified. Far too often, verification is a bottleneck for process completion.” 

LDRA, Wirral, UK. +44 0151 649 9300. [www.ldra.com].