32-bit Infineon AUDO MAX microcontrollers target powertrain and chassis applications

August 2, 2010  by  

Infineon Technologies AG has launched its AUDO MAX family of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) for automotive powertrain and chassis applications. The AUDO MAX family supports design of engine management systems meeting Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission standards for combustion vehicles and enables the electrification of powertrain functions in electrical vehicles.

Key features of the AUDO MAX family are maximum clock frequencies of up to 300MHz, high-speed interfaces like SENT and FlexRay,™ and support for advanced safety engineering by using the PRO-SIL™ features of the devices. Based on the TriCore™ processor architecture and manufactured in 90-nm process technology, the new MCUs are suited for use at temperatures of up to 170°C.

“The 32-bit microcontrollers of the AUDO MAX family provide very high performance and real-time capabilities that no other available microcontroller for powertrain and chassis applications is able to match,” said Peter Schaefer, vice president and general manager, Microcontrollers, Automotive division at Infineon Technologies AG. “Two devices in the family, the TC1793 and TC1798, operate with clock frequencies of up to 300MHz, making them 66 percent faster than their predecessors, which were clocked at 180MHz.”

For internal combustion engine control applications, AUDO MAX devices are used to calculate the best fuel-air mixture as well as to determine the optimum fuel injection and ignition timing for each cylinder individually. The comprehensive safety features of the AUDO MAX devices support design efforts to deliver higher levels of safety in both powertrain and chassis electronics, such as continuous damping control. Furthermore, AUDO MAX is well-suited for controlling the automatic transmission within an x-by-wire vehicle.

Infineon also offers a bare-die version of AUDO MAX that can be operated at ambient temperatures of up to 170 °C, making it well-suited for automatic transmission applications. Among the other particular features of the AUDO MAX family are its consequent hardware and software scalability as well as its backward compatibility to its predecessor family AUDO FUTURE, which is already used in many motor control systems of cars today.

“Whenever there is a transition from one platform to the next one we need to keep design efforts for the systems supplier as simple as possible – a fact which has always been important with all our automotive electronics ICs including AUDO MAX,” said Schaefer. “In applications ranging from low-end 3-cylinder motors to standard 4-cylinder and high-end 8-cylinder engines Infineon’s AUDO MAX products always offer the best price-performance ratio.”

Schaefer added that the AUDO MAX TC1798 can be driven at 300MHz, which he said is the highest clock speed of any single core MCU in the powertrain/chassis segment. All TriCore derivatives in the family benefit from the proven strength of the TriCore architecture in execution of DSP algorithms.

PRO-SIL™ safety integrity level
To meet automotive system supplier requirements for intrinsic data and operating safety, two product series in the AUDO MAX family include Infineon’s PRO-SIL (safety integrity level) functionality. The product series TC179x and TC172x are ideal for safety-critical systems like EPS (Electrical Power Steering), chassis controllers and suspension/damping as well as for specific control units used in hybrid and electrical vehicles.

PRO-SIL supports automotive system suppliers and car manufacturers in putting safety-relevant features into practice and in designing systems conforming to the international IEC61508 or ISO26262 standards.

For example, PRO-SIL allows the implementation of a memory protection feature in order to separate the safety-critical software from the non-safety-critical software. Additionally, PRO-SIL allows implementation of error-code correction and checksum verification to ensure the integrity of calculations. The TriCore architecture, which includes a main processor and a coprocessor (peripheral control processor), can also be used as an asynchronous dual-core safety system.

Modular Packaging Concept
The AUDO MAX family offers a scalable approach based on pin compatibility. Automotive system suppliers may upgrade from a smaller to a larger package – e. g. from TC1791, a 200MHz device with 3Mbytes of Flash memory housed in a BGA292 package, to TC1798, a 300MHz device with 4Mbytes of Flash memory packaged in a BGA516. The inner rows of contact bumps are identical for each of these devices, however, with its outer contact bump rows the larger BGAs enable the use of additional I/Os.

Connectivity Includes FlexRay, CAN and SENT
The AUDO MAX family also includes devices with two 10Mbit/s FlexRay channels and between two and four 1Mbit/s CAN nodes. One of the first SENT (Single Edge Nibble Transmission) interfaces integrated in a microcontroller simplifies system integration. SENT is an SAE standard for transmission of high resolution sensor data. The built-in interface enables direct communication with digital sensors without the need to insert analog interfaces into the signal chain, which always increase design efforts, board real estate and cost while decreasing accuracy.

Operating temperature up to 170 °C
For transmission control units in energy-saving double-clutch transmissions and conventional stepped automatic transmissions located directly at the transmission housing, the transmission electronics needs to operate at extremely high temperatures. For these applications Infineon offers the bare-die TC174x for use at ambient temperatures of up to 170 °C.

AUTOSAR, Tools, Availability and Pricing
The AUDO MAX microcontroller family consists of four product series differing in terms of clock speed and flash memory: TC179x (for high-end applications up to 300MHz), TC178x (for mid-range applications up to 180MHz), TC174x (special bare-dies for transmission applications) and TC172x (for low-end applications up to 133MHz).

In order to enable the implementation of AUTOSAR software Infineon delivers the matching hardware-oriented drivers for AUDO MAX, while third party suppliers already offer an AUTOSAR suite. Several vendors of development tools provide relevant tools for AUDO MAX by now.

Starter kits and samples of the TC1782 will be available in September 2010. Manufacturing of production volumes is scheduled for early 2011.

In quantities of 10k pieces the volume pricing for the TC1782 is estimated to be between Euro 6.70 (US $ 8.71) and Euro 7.70 (US $ 10.01).

For more information about the microcontroller family AUDO MAX as well as about Infineon’s automotive product line please visit www.infineon.com/audomax and www.infineon.com/automotive.

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