To comply with ISO 26262 and other functional safety standards, your compiler most likely needs to be qualified. With SuperTest you can, of course, do it yourself. But there are compiler vendors that deliver their compilers pre-qualified. Which option is best for you depends on multiple factors.

In our June webinar, we spoke about the necessity of qualifying your compiler. Firstly to comply with regulations set out in the ISO 26262 standard, and secondly to increase the efficiency of application development. You can either choose to qualify the compiler yourself or use a compiler that is already qualified by the vendor, or if you want added confidence, do both.

For a pre-qualified compiler – one that has been tested and qualified by the vendor – the qualification report will tell you the use-cases that the compiler has been qualified for, and the functional safety standards to which it has been qualified. Depending on the compiler and the vendor, qualification can be very extensive, with numerous options pre-tested and documented.

So why would I qualify my compiler in-house?

Although pre-qualified compilers are often extensively tested, they are unlikely to be tested for the specific set of options and precise use-cases for which you want to use them. In practice, there are millions of ways and millions of possible use-cases that could be tested, which means pre-qualifying a compiler for all these possibilities is virtually impossible. However, if you qualify your compiler in-house, you can tailor the test routines to your specific use-case requirements. With SuperTest, once you’ve configured the test setup, it’s very easy to adapt it if necessary, which gives you enormous flexibility. With a pre-qualified compiler, you are limited to the use-cases defined in its qualification report.

Another good reason to qualify your compiler in-house is to independently verify its conformance. After all, modern compilers are hugely complex pieces of software with some five million lines of source code. Qualifying your compiler with SuperTest makes sure that it behaves according to the C and C++ language specifications, and just as importantly, identifies where it doesn’t. That makes it a sensible inclusion in your software quality procedures, one that could be important for your customers too.

So the best choice for your situation depends on many factors, including use-cases, flexibility, safety, conformance, confidence and costs.

If you’d like help in deciding if in-house qualification with SuperTest is a good option for you, or you just want to know more, give us a call.