Renesas expands cross-segment portfolio of 28nm automotive MCUs

Renesas expands cross-segment portfolio of 28nm automotive MCUs

New Products |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

To meet the need for higher application integration in the automotive sector, Renesas has developed the RH850/U2B-MCUs chip family of microcontrollers that provide the hardware resources required for this task. The new chips enable the implementation of a unified electronic control unit (ECU) for the increasingly applied innovative E/E architectures. The devices offer a combination of high performance, flexibility, noise immunity and security for cross-domain architectures. They are designed to meet the demanding requirements of hybrid drives and xEV traction inverters, high-end zone control, networked gateways and to control domain applications.

This expands Renesas’ cross-segment MCU portfolio of devices, ranging from RH850/U2A MCUs for body and chassis control systems to the new RH850/U2B high-performance MCUs. Customers can also combine these MCUs with the same manufacturer’s R-Car S4 system-on-chip devices for automotive central gateway systems to build scalable solutions for E/E architectures.

“The future of automotive system designs lies in centralised, zone-oriented E/E architectures, which increases the need for automotive semiconductors that meet the challenges of these innovative architectures for future generations of vehicles,” said Naoki Yoshida, vice president, Automotive Digital Products Marketing Division at Renesas.

The RH850/U2B MCUs expand Renesas’ cross-segment MCU family. Customers will gain higher levels of performance, memory integration and hardware-based support for new zone and domain control applications, especially for powertrain and HEV/EV. At the same time, the manufacturer promises, it will meet the stringent cost, safety and security requirements for these vehicle systems.

The chips build on the key features of Renesas’ RH850/E2x series for powertrain and RH850/C1M-Ax series for HEV/EV engine control. At the same time, several new enhancements are added, including new accelerator IPs, increased performance and enhanced security. The MCU’s hardware-based hypervisor virtualisation support enables multiple software systems with functional security levels up to ISO26262 ASIL D to operate independently and without negative interactions at high performance.

It also reduces virtualisation overhead while maintaining real-time execution. Integrated Quality-of-Service (QoS) provides latency monitoring and regulation of all bus masters – this is how the chip architects aim to ensure that minimum bandwidth is always available. The RH850/U2B MCUs support secure and fast OTA software updates via integrated dual-bank flash. This allows the controller to update and save images while the MCUs are in operation. In the event of a transmission failure, the ECU can continue to use the original code. The integrated engine control IP (EMU3S) works with several dedicated engine control timer structures such as GTM v4.1 and TSG3 to reduce CPU processing load while achieving high speeds. The dedicated DFP (Data Flow Processor) accelerator IP enables the CPU to offload compute-intensive operations for complex control tasks.

The new MCUs have up to eight high-performance 400 MHz cores, four of which operate in lockstep mode. Thus, according to the supplier’s claim, they offer the highest performance among MCUs in the automotive sector. With integrated flash, they support ASIL-D and ASIL-B applications.

Other features include integrated security functions: Among other things, they support elliptic curve encryption. In addition, they comply with the Evita Full standard and can thus be expected to offer a high level of protection against cyber attacks. Dedicated IPs for resolvers/digital converters (RDC3X) process analogue signals from a motor angle of rotation sensor (resolver) or an inductive position sensor. For high performance, the new devices also include the RISC-V-based DR1000C parallel co-processor IP with vector extension (DFP). This IP, licensed from NSITexe Inc, allows for the fast execution of complex mathematical algorithms. For communication with other processors and MCUs, the new Renesas chips are equipped with state-of-the-art communication interfaces, including Gigabit Ethernet TSN with switch function.

Samples of the RH850/U2B MCU will be available from April 2022.

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