For the more complex functions, the microprocessor architecture TriCore from Infineon may be such a simplifying solution. It is the basis for the new »AUDO MAX« family of 32-bit microcontrollers for automotive powertrain and chassis applications. This family supports design of engine management systems meeting the strict 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 300 MHz, high-speed interfaces like SENT (Single Edge Nibble Transmission) and FlexRay, and support for advanced safety engineering by using the PRO-SIL features of the devices (PRO-SIL is an Infineon-specific SIL implementation which enables conformity to IEC61508 or ISO26262). Furthermore, the new MCUs can be used at temperatures 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,” claims 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 300 MHz making them 66% faster than their predecessors, which were clocked at 180 MHz«.
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 safety features support the design-in of 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.
A bare-die version of AUDO MAX can be operated at ambient temperatures of up to +170°C, making it well-suited for automatic transmission applications.
»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 Mr 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«. Regarding performance the AUDO MAX family member TC1798 can be driven at 300 MHz, which is the highest clock speed of any single core MCU in the powertrain/chassis segment. Moreover, all TriCore derivatives in the family benefit from the proven strength of the TriCore architecture in execution of DSP algorithms.
The AUDO MAX family also includes devices with two 10 MBit/s FlexRay channels and between two and four 1 MBit/s CAN nodes. The integration of SENT in a microcontroller simplifies system integration. 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.
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 300 MHz), TC178x (for mid-range applications up to 180 MHz), TC174x (special bare-dies for transmission applications) and TC172x (for low-end applications up to 133 MHz). In order to enable the implementation of AUTOSAR (www.autosar.org) software Infineon delivers the matching hardware-oriented drivers for AUDO MAX, while third party suppliers already offer an AUTOSAR suite. Starter kits and samples of the TC1782 will be available in September 2010. Manufacturing of production volumes is scheduled for early 2011.