Continuous developments in microelectronics are helping make advanced electronic braking systems (EBS) more reliable, responsive and affordable for mainstream vehicles. To enable the next generation of EBS and chassis control systems, Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) and Continental have joined forces to design a high-performance, quad-core microcontroller (MCU) optimized for EBS applications. The two automotive suppliers are collaborating on a custom MCU program called Quad-core microcontroller for Automotive Safety And Reliability ( QUASAR) designed to provide the processing intelligence for Continental’s next-generation EBS products. The first device in the family integrates four e200z4 cores based on Power Architecture ® technology, making it the industry’s first quad-core automotive MCU with two pairs of cores in redundant lockstep. “The QUASAR device is designed to be one of the most powerful, sophisticated automotive MCUs in its class,” said Dr. Adrian Traskov, IC Development Manager at Continental’s Chassis & Safety Electronic Brake Systems business unit. “Creating a device of such complexity has required close collaboration between Continental and Freescale engineering teams on all technology fronts – silicon design, software tools, simulation and modeling, and hardware platforms. We’re working in unison to develop what we think will be a breakthrough in multicore technology for the automotive industry.” Designed to double the performance of existing MCUs, the highly integrated device contains 4.75 MB of flash memory, 256 KB of SRAM and Continental’s fail-safe technology, which meets the requirements for ISO 26262 ASIL D and SIL3 according to IEC61508 applications. Due to the full symmetry, there is no need to partition the software into safety-relevant and safety-not relevant. Different from other available safety MCUs based on functional and checker cores, the QUASAR device provides full two-channel architecture, thus allowing recovery in the case of random hardware failure to a single channel that extends system availability.
The device’s exceptional quad-core performance makes it ideal for a wide range of fail-safe-critical applications in the performance-intensive chassis control market. Integration of customer software “virtual ECU” becomes an easy task due to clear separation and independent execution. The high level of integration also helps reduce system cost, power requirements, component count and board space.“Developing a quad-core MCU based on Power Architecture technology with this level of integration, redundancy and functionality redefines innovation,” said Ray Cornyn, vice president of Global Marketing for Freescale's Automotive MCU business. “The resulting device has the potential to provide unprecedented levels of performance and safety for new generations of braking systems.” The custom design program required a major investment in software and hardware tools, including low-level drivers (LLDs), development tools, evaluation boards and cycle-accurate simulation software for virtual prototyping at the system-level. The LLDs used with the MCU family will be compliant with the AUTOSAR 4.0 standard. The quad-core device, currently built using 55-nanometer process technology, is the first member of a comprehensive MCU family, with a roadmap to double-performance, double-memory devices planned in 40-nanometer process technology. There also will be devices scaled down to meet the requirements of basic EBS systems. For more information about Freescale automotive MCUs, visit www.freescale.com/automotive. Tweet this: @Freescale and Continental partner on quad-core 32-bit microcontroller for electronic braking systems www.freescale.com/automotive About Freescale Semiconductor Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, providing industry leading products that are advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. From microprocessors and microcontrollers to sensors, analog integrated circuits and connectivity - our technologies are the foundation for the innovations that make our world greener, safer, healthier and more connected. Some of our key applications and end-markets include automotive safety, hybrid and all-electric vehicles, next generation wireless infrastructure, smart energy management, portable medical devices, consumer appliances and smart mobile devices. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world. http://www.freescale.com. About Continental With sales of €30.5 billion in 2011, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 170,000 employees in 46 countries.
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