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Functional safety, as defined by the IEC 61508 standard, introduces the concepts of safe failure fraction (SFF) and hardware fault tolerance (HFT). For single channel architectures using a microcontroller the maximum safety integrity level is limited to SIL 2. The Safe-T-Core concept presented in this paper abolishes this limitation. The detailed understanding of internal structures and failure mechanism only available for the microcontroller manufacturer results in a library of software tests, which are highly efficient, can run in the background and implements a diagnostic coverage of >99%. The Safe-T-Core software enables a smart integration of functional safety requirements into industrial and automotive embedded control systems. © 2009 Inside Publishing. All Rights Reserved.