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STM32 for safety critical application.

federico.massimi
Associate III

Hello,

I happened to have to make an MCU board for a military application. Generally I always use STM32 MCU with which I am very comfortable.

But for this specific application I tried to search if there were any MCUs specifically designed for military applications, but all I found are substantially equivalent to the STM32 chips, it doesn't seem that they have anything more than a medium-high range STM32 MCU.

So the question is: by choosing an STM32 with extended temperature rage, are there any contraindications to using it for military or safety critical applications?

Thanks in advance.

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Accepted Solutions
Douglas MILLER
ST Employee

This forum thread was marked by the moderator as needing a little more investigation, so a Support case was created in your name and will be handled off-line. Should anyone have any similar questions, please feel free to open a Support case directly at your myST portal: https://st.com/ols

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8 REPLIES 8

Pretty sure military and life/safety applications are specifically excluded. At the very least you'd likely have to sign a liability waiver. Use from the purchaser standpoint might viable where COTS equipment is acceptable, but expect consumer life-cycles, ie 18 months, not 18 years

For MCU into these markets look at related trade magazines as to whom wants this type of business.

This is typical boiler-plate I see in materials:

UNLESS EXPRESSLY APPROVED IN WRITING BY TWO AUTHORIZED ST REPRESENTATIVES, ST PRODUCTS ARE NOT RECOMMENDED, AUTHORIZED OR WARRANTED FOR USE IN MILITARY, AIR CRAFT, SPACE, LIFE SAVING, OR LIFE SUSTAINING APPLICATIONS, NOR IN PRODUCTS OR SYSTEMS WHERE FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION MAY RESULT IN PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH, OR SEVERE PROPERTY OR ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE. ST PRODUCTS WHICH ARE NOT SPECIFIED AS "AUTOMOTIVE GRADE" MAY ONLY BE USED IN AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS AT USER’S OWN RISK.

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federico.massimi
Associate III

Yes, I also read that ST message, and it is clear that from a legal point of view this is true, but I was interested in it from a technical point of view.

For example this MCU: 

https://www.microchip.com/en-us/product/SAMV71Q21ET

it is given as suitable for military applications, but seeing the technical characteristics it has nothing more for example than this: STM32H725VGT3

From a technical point of view, why can one be considered defense grade and the other not?

Perhaps ST does not want their workers to strike and protest, like in some other companies :\

STM32s for sure are used in "less critical" military and dual-purpose applications (seen a couple of such projects, only in this year. The boards were made per military standards, of course).

JPeac.1
Senior

ARM has a line of controllers designed specifically for critical safety use. Check for "R" series ARM controllers (TI comes to mind, not sure if ST has an "R" series). The "M" series is not intended for this type of application, though there are some military organizations that are known to be using commercial grade parts for BADR expediency class depot repairs.

If you need rad-hardened parts there are specialty companies that produce those components (L3Harris did at one point, not sure if they are still in that line of business). Be prepared to deal with export controls and end-user certificates.

MM..1
Chief

Only super safe is multibackup systems. No one MCU can do this, but some have more MTBF as other.

Second marker is vibration and G imunity ... EMP ... Your project need parameter setup

OK, this was one of the points that I am interested in understanding, if that disclaimer was only for "political or legal" reasons or if there were also technical reasons.

Obviously when I talk about military applications, I don't mean weapon systems or anything like that, we are always talking about small microcontrollers, obviously I was referring to side systems or not articulatedly critical.

When you talk about the R series, do you mean for example the Texas Instruments MCUs of the Hercules series?

Douglas MILLER
ST Employee

This forum thread was marked by the moderator as needing a little more investigation, so a Support case was created in your name and will be handled off-line. Should anyone have any similar questions, please feel free to open a Support case directly at your myST portal: https://st.com/ols