High-End Automotive Safety MCU for Automatic Driving and Driver Support Systems (2/2)

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Looking Ahead: New High-End Automotive Safety MCU Series for Carefully Controlling Cars in All Possible Situations (1/2)

New MCU is ideal for implementing enhanced car safety systems.

All-in-one chip incorporates all of the features necessary for robust functional safety and effective driver support systems

The new RH850/P1x-C Series of single-chip solutions facilitates the design of increasingly sophisticated in-vehicle systems. The high-end MCUs can make clear, correct decisions based on greater amounts of situation data and can also coordinate multiple safety functions.

The all-in-one MCUs meet advanced safety requirements while allowing for cooperative, precise management of important aspects affecting a vehicle's dynamics. A single device can process information from multiple cameras and sensors integrally and quickly activate control systems and actuators.

Here are some of the key features of RH850/P1x-C MCUs:

Point1. All-in-One Solutions

Traditionally, sensors have relied on MCUs in interconnected but separate functions for handling complicated vehicle control problems. However, safety systems built this way have to be fine-tuned and optimized. They can be applied to only a limited range of car models due to the complex processing required for exchanging information and the need to coordinate the security management of that shared data.

Major advantages are gained by replacing those processors with a single RH850/P1x-C MCU. Its extensive I/O features and prodigious processing capability provide numerous design and production benefits. In particular, the device can handle the computing requirements of a range of vehicle models. The resulting conformity boosts design flexibility, simplifies installations and reduces overall costs, even while raising system performance to new levels.

Point2. Security & Safety Features

RH850/P1x-C series MCUs meet the security standards for in-vehicle networks equivalent to EVITA Medium levels. Additionally, they conform to the ISO26262 ASIL-D standards that define functional safety requirements. (EVITA is the EU security research project that develops in-vehicle network safety specifications. Classification in the EVITA Medium category is a requirement for hardware security modules that connect to certain types of in-vehicle networks, as well as for safety systems containing multiple ECUs.)

Point3. Fast Processing of Sensor Data

Dual-core lockstep-type 240MHz CPUs make RH850/P1x-C MCUs highly reliable and enable them to accurately and quickly process massive amounts of sensor data. The two interconnected cores act like a single CPU; special security circuits verify that both cores produce the same results from all operations (see Figure 3). functional safety is ensured not only by the instruction-execution verification, but also by a built-in self-test (BIST) feature that identifies defective logic circuits.

Figure 3. Dual-core lockup mechanism for high reliability

Figure 3. Dual-core lockup mechanism for high reliability

The new MCUs dedicate up to 8 MB of flash memory to programs, thus accommodating large-scale cognitive and control applications. The chips also incorporate 192 KB of data flash and include 1 MB of RAM. Of course, critical parts of the on-chip memory are protected by an ECC (error correction code) function.

Point4. Network Compatibility

To ensure safe, coordinated control of multiple elements affecting vehicle safety, RH850/P1x-C MCUs provide interfaces compatible with several network communication protocols: CAN (including its next-generation variants), FlexRay, and in-vehicle Ethernet. The MCUs also have a SENT (Single Edge Nibble Transmission) capability, an interface for in-vehicle sensors, as well as the CSIH (Clock Synchronized Serial Interface H) digital device interface, for easy connections to sensors and other MCUs (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. RH850/P1H-C MCUs achieve advanced functional safety and coordinated control

Figure 4. RH850/P1H-C MCUs achieve advanced functional safety and coordinated control

Renesas produces RH850/P1x-C MCUs in the latest 40nm process. The chips don't need special heat sinks or radiators because they consume only 0.9 W of power, at most. Operation is guaranteed at up to 150°C junction temperature (Tj), so the devices can be mounted in hot automotive environments.

For more information:
See RH850/P1H-C product information
See RH850/P1M-C product information

MCUs provide system design flexibility that maximizes engineering ROI

MCUs in the RH850/P1x-C Series encompass devices with different sets of features, allowing optimum design choices for diverse applications. The MCUs have the same instruction set and can handle a span of applications. So replacing one model with another chip from this product line is an easy way to alter the features, performance and cost of safety system implementations. This design versatility maximizes the utilization of software resources.

Initially, this series consists of two product groups:

  • RH850/P1M-C MCUs have a single-CPU architecture, physically implemented by two CPU cores operating with the dual-core lockstep mechanism. These lower-cost chips are ideal for individual control applications, including ECU controllers.

  • RH850/P1H-C MCUs have a double-CPU architecture, physically implemented by four CPU cores connected as two pairs, each of which operates with the dual-core lockstep mechanism. These more powerful MCUs are ideal for safety systems that provide cooperative control.

For vehicle safety systems that must deliver full sets of top-end capabilities, engineering teams can combine MCUs in the RH850/P1x-C series with MCUs from Renesas' R-Car family (see Figure 5). This design approach is recommended for building full-surround (360° view) monitoring systems that create high-quality images of objects around the car for identifying situations more extensively. Combinations of RH850 and R-Car chips can also be assembled to create safety solutions with object detection, a vehicle control gateway, and individual dynamic driving assistance functions.

Figure 5. Renesas' full-capability driving assist system solutions

Figure 5. Renesas' full-capability driving assist system solutions

Samples of RH850/P1x-C Series microcontrollers will be delivered starting in December 2015; mass production is expected to begin in September 2016. A simulation-based development environment for designing circuit boards and writing software will be available in the coming months. Additionally, a development platform for jump-starting automotive applications will be offered. This system solution will build on Renesas' extensive and robust support ecosystem.

For more information:
See RH850/P1x product information
See R-Car V2H product information

In sum, the launch of the RH850/P1x-C MCU product line promotes efforts by the global automotive market to incorporate enhanced safety functions into future vehicles. The sophisticated features and high levels of performance that these Renesas MCUs achieve gives engineering teams timely and very effective tools for making cars safer.

Although some cars will run autonomously in the near future, most vehicles will continue to require human drivers for many more years. Renesas is committed to helping implement a global smart society. Among many other things, that society envisions that cars will provide safe, comfortable and extensively interconnected transportation, aided by reliable electronic systems that reduce accidents and their severity.