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Troubleshooting Question

What is the purpose of Failure Mode and Effect Analysis ?

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Last Modified: 2020-10-22
Our embedded controller is Advanced Drive Assist Systems(ADAS).  It basically has Two software layers.  Application software and low-level software.  

Our controller has many low-level functions such as different communications protocols, different types of memory, Digital outputs, PWM Outputs, and so much more.

What might be the benefit of performing Failure Mode and Effect Analysis(FMEA) on these low-level functions?  Is the purpose of this exercise to catch low-level software design problems?  Also, would this analysis help in debugging?

How to perform thorough FMEA on low-level software for a typical Automotive ADAS Controller?
For example, one Failure mode may be Loss of I2C communication or intermittent I2C communication.  How to come up with all possible potential effects of this failure?  How to come up with all possible Potential Causes of Failure?

How to identify all possible Failure Modes?

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Real-time systems are much more complicated. Now, you have to be concerned about the timing of different events.


I heard about this while in school...
One simple but bad example, was that some MRI machines in the early days would hurt the patient. This happened if the operator started typing too fast. Their testing must have included operators who typed at slow to normal speeds. The computer handled the incoming characters as fast as they came in, and did not properly handle the real time events of the MRI machine in a timely manner.