IEC alarm design example

Document created by Fernanda Servin Employee on Apr 12, 2016Last modified by Fernanda Servin Employee on Apr 18, 2016
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This application provides a human interface via terminal (UART1) menus and numbered selections to select and play audible medical alerts that are generated algorithmically on the NXP LPC23xx. The medical alarms are designed to comply with the IEC 60601-1-8 standard for audible medical alarms. The IEC standard seeks to improve patient safety by standardizing medical audible and visual alarms. The audible portion of the standard specifies high, medium, and low priority alarms, and these are provided via a menu system. In addition, a test menu is added to facilitate analysis of the quality of the alarms generated and their compliance with the standard. Many previous applications used playback techniques to use pre-recorded alarm sounds for the alerts. An algorithmic approach provides a much more efficient, high-quality implementation compared to the pre-recorded sounds. Plus, the sounds can be customized to differentiate equipment while still staying within the parameter limits of the standard.

Block Diagram



  •     IEC Alarm Detailed Documentation


Below are recommended microcontrollers for use in implementing this design to a system.

Comparison Table

ProductPinsOn-Chip FlashOn-Chip RAMComments
LPC2364100128KB34KB128KB flash/34KB RAM version of LPC2368, no SD/MMC
LPC2366100256KB58KB256KB flash version of LPC2368, no SD/MMC
LPC2368100512KB58KB + 8KB100-pin version of LPC2378, no external bus
LPC2378144512KB58KB + 8KB144 pin, similar to LPC2368 but more pins and a MiniBus (8-bit)
LPC2387100512KB98KBLPC2368 with 98KB SRAM
LPC2388144512KB98KBLPC2378 with 98KB SRAM and USB Host/OTG
LPC2458180512KB98KB + 8KBLPC2468 with 16-bit External Memory Interface
LPC24602080KB98KB + 8KBFlashless LPC2468
LPC2468208512KB98KBHost/OTG/device, 32-bit ext. bus, 512KB flash/98KB RAM, 208 pin package
LPC24702080KB98KB + 8KBLPC2460 with XGA LCD controller
LPC2478208512KB98KB + 8KBLPC2468 with XGA LCD controller

More Information

Example Code

  • IEC Alarm Example Code


This design example shows possible hardware and software techniques used to implement the design. It is imperative that the viewer use sound engineering judgment in determining the fitness of this design example for any particular application. This design example may include information from 3rd parties and/or information which may require further licensing or otherwise. Additional hardware or software design may be required. NXP Semiconductors does not support or warrant this information for any purpose other than an informational design example.


documentation.pdf395.85 KB
example.code_.zip255.55 KB