Automotive MCU supports CAN-XL comms

The Stellar P6 automotive MCU has been developed by STMicroelectronics is claimed to be the first to support new high data rate in-car communication protocol, the CAN-XL.

As vehicles generate, process, and transfer large data flows, especially to support the next generation of EVs, the Stellar P automotive MCUs are believed to be the industry’s first qualifiable devices for model year 2024 vehicles to integrate the new CAN-XL in-car communication standard. This enables new vehicle platforms to handle growing data flows so the car can operate at peak performance.

Manufactured in ST’s wafer fabs using power-efficient 28nm FD-SOI technology, the Stellar P6 embeds up to 20Mbytes of phase change (non-volatile) memory (PCM). 

The Stellar P6 MCUs contain up to six Arm Cortex R52 processor cores, some operating in lockstep and some in split-lock mode to provide failsafe redundancy. The MCUs deliver high performance, real time determinism and upgradeability for next generation automotive drivetrains, electrification and domain-oriented systems. Stellar P6 manages hardware virtualisation (sandboxing) using the Cortex-R52 features and firewalls to resource access. This simplifies the development and integration of multiple-source software on the same chip while ensuring safe isolation and performance, said ST.

In addition to implementation of ISO 26262 ASIL-D functions, the FD-SOI technology inherently offers a quasi-immunity to radiation, said ST, and provides superior protection against system unavailability while ensuring compliance with the most stringent safety standards.

A fast hardware security module (HSM), extended with cryptographic engines operating in lockstep, supports secure ASIL D functions and enables enhanced EVITA full security capability. It also provides high-speed security cryptographic services and safe network authentication to further protect manufacturer firmware as well as end-users’ data.

In addition to the P series, ST’s Stellar family of automotive MCUs includes the Stellar E series for fast real time control and system miniaturisation in power conversion applications. According to ST, the MCUs maximise the benefits of SiC and GaN power technology in EVs’ on-board charging, DC/DC converters and traction inverters. 

There is also the Stellar G series MCUs which act as a secure data HUB and real time, safe aggregator of functions within the body domain primarily for zonal architectures. It implements over the air (OTA) updates, low power modes and data routing over a selection of in-car communication protocols.

Carmakers are transitioning to software-defined vehicles to manage the complexity and performance of new features they are adding to vehicles (electrification, advanced safety, assisted and automated driving). This transition requires changes including moving from many electrical control units (ECUs) that each manage a small subsystem to domain, or zone controllers, that combine multiple functions. These controllers must also manage the consolidation of software from across a range of vehicle systems. 

Samples of Stellar P6 are available now for 2024 vehicles.

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