NXP fights information overload in cars with new networking chip

January 21, 2020 //By James Morra
networking chip
NXP Semiconductors, looking to defend its dominance in the market for chips used in cars, rolled out its latest line of networking chips for car manufacturers trying to fight information overload as well as overhaul the electronics architectures of cars.

NXP said they would be used in the gateways that act as the car's central communication node, coordinating all the CAN and other networks in the car and send data around the car and export it out to the cloud. The chip has 15 times the performance of NXP’s current range of networking chips while reducing power consumption. NXP said the S32G would be used in all new gateways that not only transfer data around the car but also take advantage of the data to support lane departure warnings and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)—as well as new services ranging from running diagnostics on the car to updating software from the cloud.

NXP said the S32G is based on lock-step Cortex-M7 microcontrollers and lock-step clusters of Cortex-A53 microprocessors that can support the ASIL-D standard. It also has dedicated network accelerators and encryption cores that send and secure data over CAN, Ethernet and other networks in the car, NXP said. Without acceleration, it would be impossible for the car to roll out new services with the deterministic networking needed by global OEMs.

"The central gateway is not only going to send data around the car anymore, it is also trying to run applications and services that can take advantage of all that data in cars and connect it to the cloud," Brian Carlson, who leads product management for car networking processors at NXP, said ahead of the announcement at CES 2020. "But what we have seen is the need for more performance and networking to move all of that data around the car today."

NXP, the world's largest vendor of chips used in cars, has been struggling to chart its future in the looming age of autonomous cars. The company, hamstrung by Qualcomm's failed bid to buy it, has been looking to repel rivals, including Intel and Nvidia, that have leapfrogged it in the development of artificial intelligence in cars. It is also fighting Infineon, Texas Instruments and Renesas in one of the big battlegrounds in the global chip business.

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