Car electrification calls for more standardization, says Silicon Mobility

January 27, 2017 // By Julien Happich
Founded in Decem­ber 2015, French startup Silicon Mobility was born strong from all the assets it acquired from fabless semiconductor company Scaleo Chip liquidated the same year (originally founded in 1996 to develop ICs for automotive electronics).

Fresh with 10 million euros worth of new funding from Capital-E and Cipio Partners as well as from the French government, the company is now expanding on Scaleo Chip's original ARM-based re-configurable OLEA automotive MCU, hoping to announce its first design wins by the third quarter of 2017.

Bruno Paucard, Silicon Mobility's
President and CEO

Announced back in 2014, the OLEA microcontroller family integrates the company's AMEC (Advanced Motor Events Control) technology, a hard real-time, deterministic and parallel signal processing unit directly controlling and interfacing actuators and sensors. Its core technology relies on the unique combination of a Flexible Logic Unit (FLU) and Powertrain-ready Peripherals set (PrP). The OLEA T222 promoted by Silicon Mobility also features Scaleo's SILant (Safety Integrity Level agent) technology incorporating hardware safety mechanisms built around a multi-core architecture. It boasts fully deterministic accelerated algorithms, guaranteeing faults detection and containment time under 1us.

"We are probably the only company who can claim this kind of performance and bring down functional safety at the level of realtime", told us Bruno Paucard, formerly Scaleo Chip's CEO and now Silicon Mobility's President and CEO during a phone interview.

Comparing Silicon Mobility's OLEA architecture with traditional solutions.

"If you look at the incumbent players, Infineon, NXP, Renesas are all trying to solve functional safety the same way, with bigger and faster processors. But they all do it sequentially taking the information and events from sensors around the car and processing it sequentially. We do it in parallel and 30 times faster. We are about four years in advance" he said, arguing that while one of the main reasons for Intel to buy Altera was to solve its software bottlenecks through hardware acceleration, the automotive industry would seek Silicon Mobility's embedded FPGA fabric for efficient hardware acceleration.