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NXP introduces S32K39 Series MCUs for modern electrification applications

NXP Semiconductors has introduced the new S32K39 series of automotive microcontrollers (MCUs) optimized for electric vehicle (EV) control applications.

The modern S32K39 MCUs offer high-speed and high-resolution control for increased power efficiency to extend driving range and provide a smoother EV driving experience. The S32K39 MCUs include networking, security and functional safety capabilities beyond traditional automotive MCUs to address the needs of zonal vehicle E/E architectures and software-defined vehicles.


S32K39/37 MCUs Family Features Block Diagram

The new MCUs enable NXP’s battery management system (BMS) and EV power inverters to provide end-to-end solutions for next-generation EVs. They support remote smart actuation applications using Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) Ethernet for new zonal vehicle architectures.

The high-performance S32K39 MCUs are optimized for the intelligent and high-precision control of traction inverters that convert the EV battery’s DC power into alternating current to drive modern traction motors. The MCUs support traditional insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBT), as well as newer silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) technologies.

With dual 200 kHz control loops to improve power efficiency, these can enable smaller, lighter, more efficient inverters, allowing motors to deliver a longer driving range. They can also control six-phase motors with increased power density and fault tolerance for improved long-term reliability.

A safe ASIL D software resolver, along with integrated sine wave generation and sigma delta converters, eliminate external components for reduced overall system cost. The S32K39 also provides flexibility to control up to quad traction inverters when coupled with the NXP S32E real-time processor and can implement advanced traction capabilities for 4-wheel drive EVs in this configuration.


S32K39 Software Enablement Block Diagram

Because of its versatile architecture, the S32K39 series is suited to address a wide range of EV applications beyond traction inverter control, including battery management (BMS), on-board charging (OBC) and DC/DC conversion. With support for hardware isolation, time-sensitive networking and advanced cryptography, it is well-positioned to support software-defined vehicles and zonal architectures.

The S32K39 is the highest performance member of the S32K family with four Arm Cortex-M7 cores at 320 MHz configured as a lockstep pair and two split-lock cores. It supports up to 6 MB of flash memory and 800 KB of SRAM.

Engineering samples, evaluation boards, and a comprehensive set of software support and tools are now available for lead customers. The S32K39 MCUs can be combined with the NXP FS26 safety system basis chip (SBC) and the advanced high voltage isolated gate driver GD3162 with adjustable dynamic gate strength control for a safe inverter control system. Both support the highest level of functional safety (ASIL D) for traction inverter development. Production release is planned for Q4 2023.


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