|The new MPC5676R MCU. Click to enlarge.|
Freescale Semiconductor announced the first of several powerful multicore automotive MCUs that help automotive designers improve engine efficiency and reduce exhaust pollution. Freescale’s new multicore Qorivva 32-bit MPC5676R MCU, built on Power Architecture technology, provides four times the performance, double the memory space and more functionality than the previous-generation, single-core MPC5566 MCU.
The adaptability and capability of the MPC5676R make it suited for a variety of powertrain control applications, including diesel, gasoline and natural gas engines and hybrid electric and plug-in electric vehicles. The combined benefits of the MPC5676R allow global automakers to incorporate advanced technology, such as direct injection, turbo-charging and full drive by wire systems into a single controller.
|Block diagram of the chip. Click to enlarge.|
The combination of regulated fuel and emissions reduction, electrification of the powertrain, safety within the powertrain and engine downsizing is placing exponential performance demands on the processors used in control units, Philip Pesses, Freescale Product Manager for Automotive Powertrain, said in a pre-announcement briefing. OEMs are moving to control software with a million lines of code currently, with the prospect of that continuing to increase significantly in years to come.
Multicore processing is required to meet the demands, as well as advanced peripherals to manage sensor and analog inputs; on-chip signal processing is becoming more prevalent. At the same time, the higher electronic content per vehicle and performance increases are negatively affecting the battery; there is a request for 30% power consumption reduction in each new generation, Pesses said.
For powertrain, our goal is to produce the most powerful and flexible MCUs that can simultaneously manage all the complex control of a modern engine, while giving designers the tools and software platforms they need to reduce system complexity.—Ray Cornyn, vice president of Freescale’s Automotive MCU business
The new MCU delivers a 4x improvement over the previous generation of processors and, with a higher level of integration, reduces system costs. The Gen 2 MPC5566, for example, was rated at 200 DMIPS; the new Gen 3 MPC5676R is rated at 818 DMIPS.
The 90-nanometer, dual-core MPC5676R MCU is equipped with:
- 6 MB of on-chip flash memory (double the size of the Gen 2 chips)
- 384 KB of on-chip RAM (triple the amount of Gen 2)
- Three high-performance enhanced timing processor units (eTPU)
- 64-channel 12-bit analog-to-digital converter
- CAN and FlexRay communications systems
- On-chip hardware for knock detection processing.
The device includes two parallel 180 MHz 32 Bit PowerArchitecture processors for maximum throughput and software flexibility.
Application examples. Direct injection (DI) technology is being increasingly deployed as a key enabler; however, Pesses noted, the MCU input data is less accurate than the required output. As a result, the MCU has to predict when to spark. DI requires significant MCU performance (36,000 conversions/sec/cylinder to overcome the mechanical limitation. To meet needs such as this, the enhanced Time Processor Units (eTPU2) handle math intensive angle-conversions.
As another example, cylinder deactivation requires significant CPU performance to manage the control dynamics involved in changing engine state. The new Freescale processor offers multiple sources for parallel processing: the dual z7 cores and the three eTPU2s.
Knock detection traditionally requires external ICs, such as a knock ASIC; advanced processing can find the knock signal within the engine noise (1/1000 of a second time window). The on-board eTPU2 in the new chip can help predict the knock window, and decimation filters can be used to improve system performance. This capability can eliminate the need for discrete knock ASICs, filters, and external ADC and multiplexer, Pesses said.
Tools. Each Qorivva MCU comes with a full run-time software solution, including AUTOSAR MCAL driver suites and AUTOSAR real-time operating system for single-core and multicore MCUs. Qorivva MCUs also are supported by development tools, including high- performance compilers and multicore debuggers from Freescale development partners. Access to this ecosystem of Freescale and third-party tools helps reduce application development complexity and debugging/validation time during prototyping and software integration.
In addition, the Qorivva powertrain portfolio is now supported by a new eTPU compiler, debugger and simulator, helping to lower customer development costs and providing them with a tool for creating advanced engine timer software. Freescale’s deep roots in the automotive electronics industry are apparent in its involvement with industry consortia. Freescale is a founding member of the DSI, FlexRay and LIN consortia, a premium member of AUTOSAR and an active member of the PSI5, JASPAR and GENIVI consortia. Freescale’s Power Architecture products are also supported by its global systems labs and software customization services.
Freescale plans to offer evaluation kits and samples of the MPC5676R MCU in January 2012.