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Freescale delivers S32K for low-end car functions

Posted: 24 Jun 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ADAS  S32K  microcontroller 

He added: "Today's cars are more like smartphones than mechanical beasts. The other big attraction about Freescale for automotive is their on-chip security measures. There have been several hacks in the last year alone and when you connect the infotainment system to the command-and-control systems, you are just opening the door to hackers."

With the addition of the S32K to Freescale's i.MX and Kinetis lines, an entire car could conceivably be run by Freescale microcontrollers all using the free reusable components of its software development kit and free real time operating system including a Secure Hardware Extension (SHE) compliant module.

The S32K itself houses a 112MHz ARM Cortex-M4 with a built-in digital signal processor and floating point unit and from 8KB to 2MB (in nine steps—8k-, 16k-, 32k-, 64k-, 128k, 256k-, 512k-, 1M-, or 2MB) for 18 models total today with over 100 more models on the way, according to Alves who called the series "future proof." On-chip hardware encryption/decryption for security also prevents counterfeit modules from being passed off as originals by crooks.

Evaluation board

The Freescale S32K evaluation board holds the ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller, with its own digital signal processor (DSP) and a floating-point unit (FPU), along with all the necessary peripheral interface "glue" including CAN, I2S, SPI, GPIO, UART plus an analogue-to-digital (A/D) unit. (Source: Freescale)

The S32K is also pre-validated to meet the required functional-safety standards including self-test for failure prevention, and security-key management along with an automotive-grade software development kit and S32 Design Studio that it claims is "beyond" the traditional Autosar Microcontroller Abstraction Layer, in collaboration with IAR Systems which supplies a compatible C++ compiler and debugger.

- R. Colin Johnson
  EE Times U.S.


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