Automotive MCUs enhance safety of smarter vehicles

24th February 2016
Posted By : Jordan Mulcare
Automotive MCUs enhance safety of smarter vehicles

STMicroelectronics has introduced the first microprocessors in the SPC57 family that break new ground in automotive applications by offering the 'industry's best' combination of safety assurance and cost/performance. Building on the successful 32-bit Power Architecture SPC5 microprocessor platform, the product family targets cost-sensitive automotive systems that must meet the most stringent safety requirements, up to the highest ISO26262 ASIL-D Automotive Safety Integrity Level.

The MCUs are SoC devices designed to meet the challenges of entry-level vehicle safety-critical applications, including airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking Systems) in cars and motorcycles, power steering and DC/DC converters/inverters for Hybrid/Electric Vehicles.

As the world increasingly embraces smarter cars, makers are meeting the challenge to ensure that all the key functions are protected against random failures, such as those caused by a single cosmic ray changing a bit in a memory cell. ST's SPC57 devices are specifically designed to address this challenge, providing highly competitive solutions for controlling vehicle functions such as steering and braking while offering safety compliance to the highest level combined with low-cost development paths.

"Safety is a key driver of developments in the automotive industry and therefore also of the underlying semiconductor technology that is making cars safer and greener," said Luca Rodeschini, Director Strategic Business Development and Microcontroller Business Unit, Automotive and Discrete Product Group, STMicroelectronics. "The SPC57 is a scalable, future-proof solution that combines optimal cost/performance with full compliance to the most demanding safety-assurance criteria, a long-term product-longevity commitment to customers and a comprehensive low-cost development ecosystem."

The SPC57 family is built using the world's most advanced 55nm automotive technology with clock speeds up to 80MHz.  As important, it is supported by a full-featured, low-cost tool chain that is compatible with the existing development infrastructure of current Power Architecture devices, enabling rapid development of cost-effective, safety-critical automotive systems. The design ecosystem includes the free SPC5Studio development environment, open-source code compilers, and a range of evaluation boards that start from as low as $100.

The first four members of the SPC57 family are the SPC570S50E1 (512K Flash memory in a QFP64 package), SPC570S50E3 (512K in QFP100), SPC570S40E1 (256K in QFP64), and SPC570S40E3 (256K in QFP100), with the exposed-pad QFP packages supporting increased user pin-out functionality and thermally demanding applications. The QFP64 devices are available now, with the QFP100 devices scheduled for the end of Q1 2016.


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