MCU and system basis chip combo ease design of safety-critical features
June 20, 2012 // Christoph Hammerschmidt
With two new SafeAssure solutions – the Qorivva MPC574xP 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) and system basis chip (SBC) MC33906/7/8 families – Freescale helps automotive systems meet all Automotive Safety Integrity Levels (ASIL) up to and including the most stringent one, ASIL D.
Applications that can benefit include electric power steering, electronic stability control, vehicle dynamic and chassis control, safety domain control, adaptive cruise control and blind spot detection.
The Qorivva MPC574xP MCU and MC33906/7/8 SBC families are designed from the ground up in a way that system manufacturers can more easily achieve system compliance with functional safety standards by providing:
• Integrated safety architectures in hardware
• Accompanying safety software
• A comprehensive support infrastructure that helps reduce development time.
The Freescale SafeAssure program includes an extensive selection of MCUs, sensors and analog ICs, as well as support including training, safety documentation and technical support for functional safety application design. The system-level approach helps developers reduce the complexity of achieving compliance with safety standards while building advanced safety performance into their systems, explained Reza Kazerounian, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Automotive, Industrial & Multi-Market Solutions Group. For this reason, the chip vendor has included its latest Qorivva MCU and the new generation of SBCs in the company's SafeAssure program.
This program is designed to help system manufacturers more easily achieve system compliance with functional safety standards: International Standards Organization (ISO) 26262 and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61508. The program highlights Freescale solutions – hardware and software – that are optimally designed to support functional safety implementations and come with a rich set of enablement collateral.
As consumer awareness and legal requirements drive enhancements in automotive safety, automotive OEMs face increased complexity at the electronic control unit (ECU) level. Using the MPC574xP MCU in conjunction with Freescale SBC devices helps simplify system design and optimize interactions at the monitoring and diagnostic and software architecture levels, while each device has its own fail-safe check mechanism.
The Qorivva MPC574xP MCU provides the features needed to address functional safety requirements up to the ISO 26262 ASIL D level. Operating up to 180 MHz, the Qorivva MCU is built on a 55 nm process with an integrated safety architecture, dual-core delayed lock step and additional on-chip redundancy. It can operate in extreme operating environments, such as electric power steering systems, that require a junction temperature of up to 165 degrees Celsius.
By integrating many features into one safety platform, the MPC574xP offers approximately twice the memory, performance and motor control capabilities of previous Freescale offerings. And, pin compatibility means existing Freescale MCU customers can upgrade with only minor hardware and software changes, speeding time-to-market and reducing the overall development cycle. This device builds on Freescale's legacy of shipping dual-core lockstep MCUs to the automotive market for more than a decade.
The SBC devices provide power to MCUs and other system loads and optimize energy consumption through low-power saving modes. The devices also contain CAN and LIN physical layers compliant with the ISO 11898-2-5 and LIN 2.1/J2602-2 standards, safety measures and a serial peripheral interface to allow control and diagnostic with the MCU.
The pin-compatible MC33906/7/8 family is the latest generation of Freescale SBC solutions that includes DC/DC switching regulators to optimize energy efficiency. An optional boost mode keeps the system available during engine cranking pulses. In addition, ultra-low-power modes are designed to drastically reduce current consumption and optimize wake-up times. As with previous generations, the new SBCs are designed to meet the latest automotive OEM requirements for electromagnetic compatibility.
The MC33906/7/8 devices are the first Freescale analog solutions developed to satisfy ASIL D requirements. They include a range of integrated safety measures such as monitoring of critical analog parameters, a failsafe state machine and an advanced watch dog. These measures simplify system designs and reduce software complexity when combined with dual-core lock-step MCUs.
These SBCs are part of the Freescale Energy-Efficient Solutions program, which means they are designed to offer customers assurance that Freescale has employed the right combination of technologies and techniques to achieve optimal energy savings as relevant to a particular application space. The mark stands for Freescale's technology expertise in delivering products optimized for high performance within the constrained energy and power budgets of embedded environments.
Support includes the MPC574xP AUTOSAR safety MCAL and functional safety support documentation for these devices, including a safety manual, safety application guide and an analysis of failure modes, effects and diagnostics. In addition, Freescale works with third-party partners to create a comprehensive functional safety ecosystem that includes RTOS, tool chains, training and certification support, all of which help guide customers through the certification process for their end products.
Freescale plans to offer samples of the MPC574xP MCU and MC33906/7/8 SBC devices in Q3 2012.
For more information on Freescale's SafeAssure program, visit www.freescale.com/SafeAssure .
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The development platform for i.MX 6Quad from element14 (built to the Freescale SABRE Lite design) is an evaluation platform featuring the powerful i.MX 6Q, a multimedia application processor with Quad ARM Cortex-A9 cores at 1.2 GHz from Freescale Semiconductor.
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