Bits&Chips

Safety microcontrollers Renesas accelerate autonomous driving

22 december 2016 

Four new RH850/P1L-C Groups of microcontrollers (MCUs) are available now from Renesas. The RH850/P1L-C Group is designed for use in chassis and safety systems, such as anti-lock brake and airbag systems, as well as compact motor control systems. The RH850/P1L-C is a low-end MCU Group that is part of the RH850/P1x-C Series of Safety MCUs that meets the requirements for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in one stop.

Driver assistance systems have increased in sophistication and performance as effort have continued toward the realization of autonomous-driving vehicles, thereby coordinating control with other vehicle control units has become essential. With regard to chassis systems, the need for coordination with ADAS has brought an increase in the volume of information from sensors and, combined with high-speed communication functionality, created demand for more powerful information processing capabilities.

In addition, to prepare for new cyber security threats such as vehicle hacking, MCUs must conform to in-vehicle security specifications such as EVITA and the ISO 26262 automotive functional safety standard ASIL-D to avoid fatal situations caused by system malfunction due to breakdown, and so forth.

To address these needs from sensing, connectivity, security and safety perspectives, Renesas launched the RH850/P1H-C and RH850/P1M-C Groups of the RH850/P1x-C Series in 2014 as one-stop safety MCUs. The RH850/P1H-C Group is suitable for high-end applications such as ADAS, and the RH850/P1M-C is suitable for middle range applications such as stability control.

Along with the needs for these high-end/middle-range applications, there is also a need for system redundancy to enable operation to continue even when a failure occurs, and therefore for more compact ECUs. In particular, there is growing demand for common software and development tools to reduce the time and cost associated with the development of more sophisticated systems with advanced functions.

Renesas’ new RH850/P1L-C was developed to meet these demands of low-end applications such as chassis and safety systems including anti-lock brake systems, air bag systems and compact motor control systems, as well as the needs to address ECU miniaturization and system redundancy needs.

With the launch of the new RH850/PL1-C, Renesas now provides a fully scalable product line-up of the RH850/P1x-C Series that enables customers to develop platforms extending from high-end to low-end applications, by reusing software resources and making use of common development tools.

Key features of the RH850/P1L-C Group:

1) Inherits the RH850/P1x-C product platform, expands scalability to simplify development and expansion of new products and extend product lines

The new RH850/P1L-C Group inherits the RH850/P1x-C platform and includes many of the proven embedded safety mechanisms, such as a redundant checker core, which operates in lockstep to the master core. These features enable the RH850/P1L-C devices to support ASIL-D systems, the most stringent safety level stipulated in the ISO 26262 automotive functional safety standard, as a safety element out of context. It also incorporates the ICU-S Renesas hardware security module, which supports the SHE and EVITA-Light automotive security standards. The RH850/P1L-C Group additionally inherits timers and communication functions such as CAN-FD from its high-end predecessors, for expanded scalability from the high end to the low end that simplifies the tasks of developing new products and extending existing product lines.

2) Small, low-pin-count package lineups for more compact ECUs

The 40 nanometer (nm) process used for MCU production has a proven track record of achieving low power consumption and high reliability. This process enables the use of LQFP packages that require no heat sink when using a single power supply and operates at a frequency of 120 MHz (typ. 50 mA, 5V, 25 degrees Celsius). These QFP packages use a 0.4 mm pin pitch, which results in a more compact ECU. For example, the package of the 144-pin version is 36 percent smaller (compared with earlier products using a 0.5 mm pin pitch). Three pin-count packages are available: 80 (10 x 10 mm), 100 (12 x 12 mm), and 144 (16 x 16 mm) pins.

3) Various solution offerings to boost system manufacturers’ development efficiency

As system development becomes ever more complex, Renesas is assisting system manufacturers with safety and security support programs, virtual environments employing model-based development tools provided in collaboration with Renesas partners, MCAL with AUTOSAR support, and reference boards designed for compact motor control systems. These also help system manufacturers reduce the development time.

Samples of the RH850/P1L-C Group are available now. Mass production is scheduled to begin in May 2018.

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