Functional Safety in Computer Architectures

Module nameFunctional Safety in Computer Architectures
Type of moduleSelectable mandatory module
Learning results,
competencies, qualification goals
The student is able to:
  • understand the fundamentals of functional safety and reliability of computer systems
    • basic terms and characteristic values
    • basic concepts
    • relevant standards
  • learn the methods that serve to increase the reliability of computer systems
    • redundancy concepts
    • error handling
    • error tolerance
  • learn about the methods to analyse the functional safety and reliability of computer systems
    • qualitative methods
    • reliability calculation
    • calculation of safety parameters

Learning results with regard to the objectives of the course of study:
  • Gaining a deeper knowledge about the specific electrical fundamentals
  • Acquiring enhanced and applied subject-specific basics
  • Identifying and classifying complex electro-technical and interdisciplinary tasks
  • Being confident in the ability to apply and evaluate analytical methods
  • Being able to create and evaluate solving methods independently
  • Gaining important and profound experience in the area of practical technical skills and engineering activities
  • Working and researching in national and international contexts
Types of courses4 SWS (semester periods per week):       2 SWS lecture
                                                                 2 SWS exercise
Course contentsThis lecture deals with the basic principles of the reliability and functional safety of computer systems and with the corresponding methods to analyse and calculate safety-related computer systems.
Teaching and learning methods
(forms of teaching and learning)
Lecture, presentation, learning by teaching, self-regulated learning, problem-based learning
Frequency of the module offeringWinter term
Requirements for the
participation in the module
Prerequisites according to examination regulations
Student  workload180 h:   60 h attendance studies
             120 h personal studies
Academic performancesNone
Precondition for the
admission to the
examination performance
Examination performanceDepending on the number of participants: Written exam 60 – 180 min., or oral exam 20 – 40 min.
Number of credits
of the module
6 credits and 1 credit of them applies to the integrated key competencies
In charge of the moduleProf. Dr. Josef Börcsök
Teacher of the moduleProf. Dr. Josef Börcsök and his co-workers
Forms of mediaBlack board, slides, exercises
Literature references
  • Lecture notes (script)/slides are going to be handed out at the beginning of the lecture.
  • Börcsök J., Electronic Safety Systems, Hüthig 2004
  • Börcsök J., Functional Safety, Hüthig, 2006
  • More reference literature is going to be recommended in the course.
  • Goble, W. M., Control systems safety evaluation and reliability, 3rd ed. ISA resources for measurement and control series. Research Triangle Park, N.C: International Society of Automation, 2010.
  • Goble, W. M. and Goble, W. M. E. c. s. r., Control systems safety evaluation and reliability, 2nd ed. Resources for measurement and control series. Research Triangle Park, N.C. ISA, 1998.
  • Birolini, A., Zuverlässigkeit von Geräten und Systemen. Springer eBook Collection Computer Science and Engineering. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1997.
  • Schnieder, L. and Hosse, R. S., Leitfaden Safety of the Intended Functionality: Verfeinerung der Sicherheit der Sollfunktion auf dem Weg zum autonomen Fahren /  Lars Schnieder, René S. Hosse, Second edition. essentials. Wiesbaden: Springer Vieweg, 2020.
  • Gregorius, C., ed., Funktionale Sicherheit von Maschinen: Praktische Anwendung der DIN EN ISO 13849-1, 1. Auflage. Beuth Praxis Maschinenbau. Berlin: Beuth Verlag, 2016.
  • Montenegro, S., Sichere und fehlertolerante Steuerungen: Entwicklung sicherheitsrelevanter Systeme. München, Wien: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1999.
  • Kumamoto, H. and Henley, E. J., Probabilistic risk assessment and management for engineers and scientists, 2nd ed. New York: IEEE Press, 1996.

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