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Car safety and security

The multi-core micro-controllers (MCU) SPC58NExx from STMicroelectronics enable functional safety and encryption in automotive systems. These MCUs are the first to be launched with ST’s in-house 40 Nm Embedded-Flash process.

The MCUs are CAN FD compliant (Photo: STMicroelectronics)

THE MCUS ARE SO-CALLED FAULT-TOLERANT micro-controllers for demanding applications throughout the car. These mission-critical applications include engine management, transmission, anti-lock braking, electric power steering, active suspension, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

“Security and functional safety compliance are essential to realizing cutting-edge high-reliability System-on-Chip ICs for mission-critical automotive applications,” said Fabio Marchio, Group Vice President and General Manager of ST’s Automotive Microcontroller and Infotainment Division. “Offering a simple and compelling upward-migration path from existing parts, our new automotive MCUs enable improved vehicle performance and economy with no compromises in security, while delivering savings in development by promoting hardware and software reuse.”

Part of ST’s Power Architecture single-chip 32-bit automotive-MCU family, the SPC58NExx product line combines multiple dual-issue cores with up to 6 MiB Flash and 768 KiB internal RAM memory, eight CAN interfaces, and a peripheral-set based on the end application. Seven of these CAN interfaces are ISO CAN FD-, the other one TTCAN-compatible. The multiple cores provide redundancy in these applications to meet the safety and security demands of vehicle manufacturers—and consumers. The product line is currently available in BGA 292 and LQFP176 package configurations. KGD versions are also planned in the near future.

Compliant with the ISO 26262 ASIL-D and EVITA Medium class, the SPC58NE84 is sampling now. The ISO 26262 ASIL-D functional safety standard defines the rules needed in order to avoid unreasonable risk due to hazards caused by malfunctioning of the complete electrical system. The micro-controller’s role is extremely critical so all sections of the standard that are applicable have been evaluated for ST’s automotive safety devices.

Embedded Flash

ST’s in-house Embedded Flash (eFlash) process technology builds upon the company’s 20-year expertise in embedded Flash. By moving to a smaller process geometry, ST has increased the density of Flash memory and peripheral functions that can be integrated on a single chip. Multicore MCUs built using the company’s 40 Nm process technology are able to support a maximum capacity of more than 16 MiB of on-board Flash memory.

Car security

While the need for security in cars has been in place for many years, development in this area now ensures security is a base ingredient of the system. Originally, automotive security was mostly localized in a few sub-systems, to protect electric-engine parameters stored in Flash from being modified. Automotive security is now becoming pervasive and, in some cases, is mandatory. Security now extends to the hardware security module (HSM) system, targeting Evita (E-safety Vehicle Intrusion Protected Applications) Medium Class, which can be seen as an autonomous and isolated system, embedded into the micro-controller, handling all security operations.

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