IPC Launches Joint Firmware Reliability Effort with PSMA


Remote video URL

Twelve industry members gathered for a kick-off meeting on November 18 for a planned new “Specification for Firmware Design and Test Requirements for Power Conversion Devices and Systems.” This joint effort between PSMA (the Power Sources Manufacturers Association) will expand on the PSMA Power Supply Software/Firmware Reliability Improvement Report (2019).

Project co-chair Eric Swenson of IBM provided an overview of the planned scope of the document which includes firmware design requirements, firmware test/qualification requirements and firmware security, both digital and physical. Eric expounded on the goals of the project to fill a gap in standardization specific to the unique requirements of power conversion devices and improve awareness and understanding of the importance of security on a power supply, reduce hardware defects driven by firmware, and improve system integration issues. Eric also listed and discussed topics under the scope areas such as design rules, communications protocols, upgrade capability, and RFQ requirements under the Design Requirements scope. Project co-chair, Jerry Strunk, of ABB also noted the importance of covering program management to assure impacts of software updates.

Additionally, Jerry led a discussion on how the project group would coordinate going forward. The group will meet for a working meeting to further develop the draft at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego, Monday, January 24 from 8 am–5 pm.

For an overview of the goals of the project as well as a brief explanation of the standards development process by IPC group liaison, Patrick Crawford, check out the excerpt (video) of the meeting above.