Auto Electronics

Infineon MCUs target airbag, power steering applications

Infineon Technologies has introduced the XC2300, a family of 32-bit microcontrollers for use in vehicle-safety applications such as airbag, electronic power-steering, and low-end chassis control systems that require fast reaction time, redundancy and flexibility. It’s marketing the MCUs as solutions for those applications, complete with sensors and power semiconductors, touting the benefits of reliability and reduced development time.

"The safety segment is the strongest-growing automotive application area with about a 10% growth-rate for the next five years,” said Peter Bauer, Infineon management board member and head of its Automotive, Industrial and Multimarket business group.

The XC2300 family is designed to enable scalability, hardware and software reuse and compatibility in safety systems. It features a central processor that can process up to 80 million instructions per second (MIPS) at 80 MHz with power consumption at 80 MHz less than 60 mA. Infineon said the MCUs’ low power consumption lowers system costs since smaller voltage regulators are needed. Flash memory sizes range from 128 kB to 1.6 MB.

The universal serial interface channel (USIC) in XC2300 MCUs can be configured as a universal asynchronous receive transmit (UART), local interconnect network (LIN), buffered serial peripheral interface (SPI), inter-IC (IIC) bus or inter-IC-sound (IIS) interface. MultiCAN (CAN rev. 2.0B active) provides up to 64 flexibly assignable message objects on up to three CAN nodes and gateway functionalities.

Two parallel A/D converters offer up to 24 channels with optional data pre-processing and a conversion time down to 1.2 µs. The converters can detect broken connections, and can be synchronized to sample incoming signals redundantly.

The memory protection unit (MPU) in XC2300 MCUs allows AUTOSAR and other third-party software to be integrated into a protected execution environment. Software components can be encapsulated by providing memory and time protection features so that safety and non-safety critical applications can be executed coherently within "trusted" and "untrusted" execution domains. The MPU controls the encapsulation of software tasks and provides a reliable mechanism for avoiding interferences. Infineon said significant savings in software development can result if most tasks are classed as "untrusted" and only safety-critical tasks are engineered at a higher "trusted" level.

Other product features include error correction code (ECC) on all memories, memory protection, feature redundancy, and control mechanisms including cyclic redundancy check (CRC). Infineon said systems incorporating XC2300 products have the potential to be certified according to the safety integrity level (SIL3) standard (IEC 61508), adoption of which is anticipated in Europe in 2008.

The first two members of what Infineon envisions as a 50-member family are the XC2365 and XC2387, available with 384 kB, 448 kB or 576 kB of flash memory; 16 or 24 A/D channels; 66 MHz or 80 MHz operating frequency; -40 °C to +85 °C or -40 °C to +125 °C temperature range, and green (lead-free) low-quad flat pack- (LQFP) 100 and 144 package options. Future versions will offer flash memory sizes from 128 kB to 1.6 MB and additional features such as FlexRay interfaces and 64- and 176-pin LQFP packages.

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