TI makes cars safer

7th November 2006
ES Admin

Accelerating the trend towards safer, but less complex automotive chassis control applications, Texas Instruments has introduced a new symmetrical dual-core microcontroller (MCU). The TMS570 MCU is the first automotive processor solution to support a certification according to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61508 SIL3 standard - the highest level of safety that is designated for automotive applications. Co-developed with Robert Bosch GmbH, a leading global supplier of automotive technology, the TMS570 MCU will be implemented in next generation braking, steering and chassis control applications.

The TMS570 MCU platform uses two identical ARM® Limited CortexT R4 cores combined with an initial two Mbytes of on-chip flash memory. Targeted applications include chassis control, braking/electronic vehicle stability and steering with higher and lower memory and performance variations planned. The dual cores are tightly coupled by a patent pending architecture for maximum reliability, while memory is protected by Error-Correcting Code (ECC) bit checking.

As vehicles become more complex and integrate more features, safety standardization is becoming increasingly important among automakers and OEMs. The TMS570 device integrates the Cortex R4 cores in an innovative and unprecedented design that enables failure detection and response times required by the IEC 61508 standard. Software development for the dual-core TMS570 MCU becomes less complex by eliminating a dedicated checker MCU algorithm and communication overhead between the main
controller and the checker MCU thus reducing development time and cost.

The FlexRayT networking protocol is also implemented directly on theTMS570 MCU further increasing integration. This deterministic communication standard developed by the leading automotive manufacturers and suppliers offers fully deterministic and fault tolerant communications for
advanced automotive systems.

TI processors have a history of leadership and innovation in the automotive industry. TI's TMS470 MCU, for example, is used in the vast majority of automotive safety systems around the world such antilock
braking systems and airbag electronics, while TI's leading digital signal processors offer innovative solutions for infotainment, navigation, and electronic drive assist. The TI automotive portfolio
extends into mixed signal solutions integrating analog-, power-, digital-circuits, as well as embedded processors.

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