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Automotive MCU complies to highest safety standard

Posted: 14 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Texas Instruments? ARM? TMS570? microcontroller? IEC 61508 SIL3?

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has introduced a new symmetrical dual-core MCU designed to accelerate the trend towards safer but less complex automotive chassis control applications. The TMS570 MCU is said to be the first automotive processor solution to comply to the IEC 61508 SIL3 standard, the highest level of safety designated for automotive applications. Co-developed with Robert Bosch GmbH, the TMS570 MCU will be implemented in next-generation braking, steering and chassis control applications.

The new MCU platform uses two identical ARM Ltd Cortex R4 cores combined with an initial 2Mbyte on-chip flash memory. Targeted applications include chassis control, braking/electronic vehicle stability and steering, with higher and lower memory and performance variations planned. The dual cores are tightly coupled by a patent pending architecture for maximum reliability, while memory is protected by Error-Correcting Code (ECC) bit checking.

As vehicles become more complex and integrate more features, safety standardization is becoming increasingly important among automakers and OEMs. The TMS570 device integrates the Cortex R4 cores in an innovative design that enables failure detection and response times required by the IEC 61508 standard. Software development for the dual-core TMS570 MCU becomes less complex by eliminating a dedicated checker MCU algorithm and communication overhead between the main controller and the checker MCU thus reducing development time and cost. The FlexRay networking protocol is also implemented directly on the TMS570 MCU, further increasing integration. This deterministic communications standard developed by leading automotive manufacturers and suppliers offers fully deterministic and fault tolerant communications for advanced automotive systems.

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