Motor control solution extends vehicle compute platform

7th November 2023
Mick Elliott

NXP Semiconductors is expanding its scalable S32 vehicle compute platform with the introduction of the S32M2.

Thomas Ensergueix, Senior Director, Integrated Solutions, Automotive Processing, NXP Semiconductors hailed its adaptability to automobile architectures.

“It enables easy migration of motor control functions and maximizes software re-use across the S32 vehicle compute platform. It supports the transition to software-defined electric vehicles,” he explained.

The purpose-built motor control solution encompasses a range of applications covering safety and comfort including seat belt pretensioners, wiper control, pumps, fans and boot/trunk openers.

Taking just two examples, a foldable steering wheel and sun roof control (pictured), Ensergueix lists benefits including form factor optimization, fast innovation prototyping, ASIL-B compliance and safe operation and double-digit bill of materials savings.

Among the many types of electric motors, brushless direct current (BLDC) and permanent magnet synchronous (PMSM) motors are known for their endurance and robustness, small size, low weight and high efficiency, which all contribute to energy savings and range extension for EVs.

OEMs can perform motor diagnostic tests, transmit data to the zonal controller and optimize for higher performance to improve efficiency further and lower audible noise in the final application, which improves occupant comfort.

This system-in-package solution integrates high performance compute in the shape of the Arm Cortex-M4 80MHz or Cortex-M7 120MHz core alongside high voltage analogue and power, as well as extensive software libraries required for motor control. It fits on a board about the diameter of the lid on a cola can.

“By using NXP’s Model-Based Design Toolkit, automakers can start Simulink simulation early in the development cycle and map the model to the S32M2 hardware,” said Manuel Alves, Senior Vice President and General Manager of General Purpose and Integrated Solutions (GPIS), Automotive Processing, NXP. “Since this is a purely software-defined approach, automakers can optimize software re-use across the S32 vehicle compute platform, while benefiting from feature and performance enhancements which builds on the success of today’s S12 MagniV portfolio.”

Based on the system-in-package approach, the S32M2 combines advanced compute with MOSFET gate drivers, physical layer interfaces for CAN FD, LIN, CXPI communication, and a built-in voltage regulator directly from the vehicle’s 12-volt battery, addressing various motor control applications.

Integrating either an Arm Cortex-M4 or Cortex-M7 core, the S32M2 series covers a broad range of memory options from 128KB to 1MB. These devices are supported with the 64-pin LQFP package, which gives automakers the flexibility to select across different memory sizes while having pin-to-pin compatibility within the same family. The system-in-package solution also leverages the S32K’s development processes certified to ISO 26262 for ASIL B functional safety, the S32 platform’s proven security subsystems (CSEc, HSE), and the S32K’s comprehensive tools and software ecosystem.

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