System basis chips introduce high speed communication, says Infineon

Two system basis chip (SBC) families have been introduced by Infineon. An SBC is the central supply of power and communication for microcontrollers within electronic control units (ECUs) in cars. SBCs are ICs that combine voltage supplies, communication bus interfaces (CAN, LIN) and supervision features. Combining these three elements in one chip leads to lower system costs and up to 80 per cent smaller design footprint compared to discrete solutions, says Infineon.

The Lite and Mid-Range+ SBCs are claimed to be the first on the market supporting the ISO CAN FD protocol for communication at 5Mbits per second for a large variety of automotive applications.

The Infineon Lite SBCs are the entry level SBCs. They incorporate one CAN transceiver to address a broad range of applications such as in-cabin wireless charger, NO x sensor, gear shifter or light control units. The Mid-Range+ SBCs are more powerful devices with one CAN and up to two LIN transceivers to support, for example, body control modules and gateway modules.

Originally, the CAN FD protocol was established for software updates during production and service events. Today, as the automotive industry requires increasingly faster communications capabilities, the communication within the car and its connectivity to the outside world require an increased bandwidth and longer payload. For example, high-end front light applications such as matrix LED lighting require a large amount of data provided by camera systems and sensors to ensure a glare-free high beam.

In addition to high-speed communication, the Infineon SBCs allow a lower power consumption. The optional partial networking feature means they reduce current consumption by putting the ECU in a sleep or stop mode when it is not needed. The Lite SBC family also features a charge pump to drive high side n-channel power MOSFETs. It can disconnect an external load during sleep mode in order to further reduce quiescent current.

Devices in both SBC families include diagnostic and supervision features to support ECU functional safety concepts like under-voltage monitoring, window watchdog with reset, fail-safe operating mode and fail-safe output. The Mid-Range+ family allows external loads to be driven by four high-side switches.

The SBCs are scalable in terms of the number of communication interfaces and are software compatible with other Infineon SBC families such as the DCDC and Multi-CAN Power SBC families (TLE94x1, TLE926x & TLE927x).

The Mid-Range+ family is now available in the market, the Lite SBC family will be in October 2018.

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