Miniaturized Sensor Dies Target IoT and Automotive

TDK has announced new miniaturized EPCOS MEMS pressure sensor dies. The automotive versions of the C33 series boast dimensions of just 1 mm x 1 mm x 0.4 mm. They are designed for absolute pressures of 1.2 bar to 10 bar and are qualified based on bild-wo-background-en-HighResolutionDataAEC-Q101. The typical operating voltage is 3 V. With a supply voltage of 5 V they offer sensitivities of between 15 mV/bar and 80 mV/bar, depending on the type. The miniaturized pressure sensors are suitable for a temperature range from -40 °C to +135 °C and can even withstand 140 °C for short periods. They also offer a very long-term stability of ± 0.35% FS (full scale).

The C39 type, with its footprint of just 0.65 mm x 0.65 mm is especially suitable for IoT and consumer applications. One noteworthy feature of the C39 is its low insertion height of just 0.24 mm, which makes the low-profile MEMS pressure sensor die ideal for applications in smartphones and wearables, for example, where space requirements are critical. The C39 is designed for an absolute pressure of 1.2 bar and, like the C33 series, offers long-term stability of ± 0.35% FS. All the pressure sensor dies operate on the piezoresistive principle and deliver, via a Wheatstone bridge, an analog signal that is proportional to the applied pressure and the supply voltage.

Further information on the products at www.epcos.com/pressure_sensor_elements

TDK-Lambda | www.us.tdk-lambda.com

Nissan Chooses Renesas Chips for Automatic-Parking Gear

Renesas Electronics has announced that its R-Car system-on-chip (SoC) for car infotainment and advanced driving assistant systems (ADAS) as well as its RH850 automotive control microcontroller have been adopted by Nissan for the ProPILOT Park, a full-fledged automated-parking system, of its new LEAF, Nissan’s new 100 percent electric vehicle.

The R-Car SoC adopted in the ProPILOT Park of the new Nissan LEAF recognizes spaces adequate for parking, verifies that there are no obstacles in the way, and handles 20170906-soc-mcu-automated-parkingthe role of issuing control commands for acceleration, braking, steering and shifting. The R-Car SoC includes Renesas’ exclusive parallel image processor (IMP) dedicated for image processing. The IMP takes the high-resolution images from the latest automotive CMOS digital cameras and performs high-speed, low-power signal processing. The RH850 MCU accepts the chassis control commands from the R-Car SoC and transmits these commands to the various electronic control units (ECUs) used. This enables the Nissan LEAF’s ProPILOT Park to achieve safe and reliable parking operation.

Based on the newly-launched Renesas autonomy, a new advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving platform, Renesas enables a safe, secure, and convenient driving experience by providing innovative solutions for next-generation car.

Renesas Electronics | www.renesas.com

Smart Power Switches Meet Automotive Needs

Infineon Technologies offers power IC manufacturing technology: SMART7. Infineon designed it specifically for automotive applications such as Body Control Modules or Power Distribution Centers. SMART7 power ICs drive, diagnose and protect loads in applications like heating, power distribution, air-conditioning, exterior and interior lighting, seat and mirror adjustment. They also provide a cost-effective and robust replacement of electromechanical relays and fuses. SMART7 is based on thin-wafer technology that reduces power losses and chip sizes. Based on SMART7, Infineon has introduced the two high-side power switch families PROFET+2 and High Current PROFET. The SPOC+2 multichannel SPI high-side power controllers will follow within a year.

Infineon High Res PROFET TSDSO-14

The PROFET+2 family was developed for automotive 12 V lighting load applications and capacitive loads. These comprise e. g. halogen bulbs in external lighting control, interior lighting and dimming, as well as LED lighting. PROFET+2 devices provide state-of-the-art diagnostics and protection features. They maintain pin-out compatibility with their predecessor family PROFET+ for zero-cost migration. There is no ECU layout change needed, if single-channel devices are replaced by dual-channel variants and vice versa. Compared to their predecessor family, the PROFET+2 devices are up to 40 percent smaller in package size and improve energy efficiency with 50 percent lower current consumption. Their mass production is planned to start as of Q4 2017 and later. All high-side switches will be qualified in accordance with AEC Q100.

Infineon Technologies | www.infineon.com

Dev Kit Enables Cars to Express Their Emotions

Renesas Electronics has announced that it has developed a development kit for its R-Car that takes advantage of “emotion engine”, an artificial sensibility and intelligence technology pioneered by cocoro SB Corp. The new development kit enables cars with the sensibility to read the driver’s emotions and optimally respond to the driver’s needs based on their emotional state.

The development kit includes cocoro SB’s emotion engine, which was developed leveraging its sensibility technology to recognize emotional states such as confidence or uncertainty based on the speech of the driver. The car’s response to the driver’s emotional state is displayed by a new driver-attentive user interface (UI) implemented in the Renesas R-Car system-on-chip (SoC). Since it is possible for the car to understand the driver’s words and emotional state, it can provide the appropriate response that ensures optimal driver safety.

20170719-verbal-emotion-recognition-engine-st

As this technology is linked to artificial intelligence (AI) based machine learning, it is possible for the car to learn from conversations with the driver, enabling it to transform into a car that is capable of providing the best response to the driver. Renesas plans to release the development kit later this year.

Renesas  demonstrated its connected car simulator incorporating the new development kit based on cocoro SB’s emotion engine at the SoftBank World 2017 event earlier this month in held by SoftBank at the Prince Park Tower Tokyo.

Renesas considers the driver’s emotional state, facial expression and eyesight direction as key information that combines with the driver’s vital signs to improve the car and driver interface, placing drivers closer to the era of self-driving cars. For example, if the car can recognize the driver is experiencing an uneasy emotional state, even if he or she has verbally accepted the switch to hands free autonomous-driving mode, it is possible for the car to ask the driver “would you prefer to continue driving and not switch to autonomous-driving mode for now?” Furthermore, understanding the driver’s emotions enables the car to control vehicle speed according to how the driver is feeling while driving at night in autonomous-driving mode. By providing carmakers and IT companies with the development kit that takes advantage of this emotion engine, Renesas hopes to expand the possibilities for this service model to the development of new interfaces between cars and drivers and other mobility markets that can take advantage of emotional state information. Based on the newly-launched Renesas autonomy, a new advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving platform, Renesas enables a safe, secure, and convenient driving experience by providing next-generation solutions for connected cars.

Renesas Electronics America | www.renesas.com

Live Webinar on Security for the Connected Car

Recent automobile hacks (e.g., the Chrysler Jeep hack) have many engineers focusing on security in the connected car. Mentor Graphics will focus on this topic in a live webinar on August 10.

The webinar will be led by Alan Grau, President and co-founder of Icon Labs, and Andrew Patterson, Business Development Director for Mentor Graphics’s embedded division. The webinar will address:

  • Automotive cybersecurity requirements
  • Secure architectures for automotive
  • Security throughout the car and beyond (IVI, ADAS, and Gateway ECUs to small constrained ECUs)
  • Secure software updates
  • Emerging automotive cybersecurity standards
  • And more

The webinar will take place on August 10 from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (US/pacific). Register Now

Source: Mentor Graphics

New Automotive Power Integrated Module Solution for Next-Gen Automotive BLDC Systems

ON Semiconductor recently expanded its line of power integrated modules (PIMs) with the STK984-190-E, which is a highly integrated module well suited for driving three-phase brushless DC motors in automotive systems. The module is intended for use in 12-V automotive electric motor drive applications with power ratings up to 300 W (e.g., electric pumps, fans, and wipers). OnSemi_STK984

The STK984-190-E’s features and specs include:

  • Six 40-V, 30-A MOSFETs configured as a three-phase bridge with an additional 40-V, 30-A high-side reverse battery protection MOSFET.
  • A specified operational temperature range of –40°C to 150°C.
  • The integrated MOSFETs are all AEC-Q101 qualified.
  • It comes in a Pb-free DIP-S3, measuring 29.6 mm × 18.2 mm × 4.3 mm.

The STK984-190-E It costs $7 unit in 16-unit quantities.

Source: ON Semiconductor

79-GHz CMOS Radar Sensor Chips for Automotive Applications

Infineon Technologies recently announced at the Imec Technology Forum in Brussels (ITF Brussels 2016) it is cooperating with Imec to develop integrated CMOS-based, 79-GHz sensor chips for automotive radar applications. According to the announcement, Infineon and Imec expect functional samples to be available in Q3 2016. A complete radar system demonstrator is slated for early 2017.

There are usually up to three radar systems built into vehicles equipped with driver assistance functions. In the future, fully automated cars will be equipped with up to 10 radar systems and 10 additional sensor systems using camera or lidar technologies.

Source: Infineon Technologies

NXP’s New Automotive Ethernet Product Portfolio

NXP Semiconductors has launched product portfolio for automotive Ethernet that builds on BroadR-ReachT, which is an automotive standard defined by theOPEN Alliance industry group. NXP’s automotive portfolio features two product families: Ethernet transceivers (TJA1100) and Ethernet switches (SJA1105).

The Ethernet PHY TJA1100 supports automotive low power modes. The systems sleep when the engine is off. However, the Ethernet PHY stays partially powered and wakes up the system only when there is network activity.NXP_AutomotiveEthernet

Transceivers (TJA1100):

  • Compliant with the OPEN Alliance BroadR-Reach (OABR) standard (IEEE: 100BASE-T1)
  • Designed via an automotive development flow
  • 6 × 6 mm² HVQFN package with minimal external component count
  • Supports low-power modes to save battery life
  • Automotive grade ESD and EMC

NXP’s SJA1105 Automotive Ethernet Switch uses Deterministic Ethernet technology to guarantee message latency in applications such as autonomous driving, where deterministic communication is vital for reasons of operational efficiency or functional safety. Deterministic Ethernet supports the trend toward increasing bandwidth requirements of up to one gigabit, while ensuring high reliability in networked control systems and high availability in fail-operational applications. It comprises several standards, including Ethernet (IEEE 802.3), Time-Triggered Ethernet (SAE AS6802) as well as Audio Video Bridging (AVB), and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN).

Digital Switch (SJA1105):

  • Five-port automotive Ethernet Switch supporting up to 1-Gb network speed
  • Layer 2 Store and Forward Switch
  • MII/RMII/RGMII Interface
  • Port Mirroring and VLAN support (IEEE 802.1Q and IEEE 802.1P)
  • AVB and TSN support
  • Enables Deterministic Ethernet solutions

TJA1100 Ethernet transceivers are available in prototype samples. They will enter mass production in late 2015. SJA1105  Ethernet Switches are available upon request.

Source: NXP Semiconductors

Microchip Joins Linux Foundation & Automotive Grade Linux

Microchip Technology recently announced that it joined The Linux Foundation and Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), which is an open-source project developing a common, Linux-based software stack for the connected car. Additionally, Microchip has begun enabling designers to use the Linux operating system with its portfolio of MOST network interface controllers.Microchip MOST

AGL was built on top of a stable Linux stack that is already being used in embedded and mobile devices. The combination of MOST technology and Linux provides a solution for the increasing complexity of in-vehicle-infotainment (IVI) and advanced-driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

The MOST network technology is a time-division-multiplexing (TDM) network that transports different data types on separate channels at low latency and high quality-of-service. Microchip’s MOST network interface controllers offer separate hardware interfaces for different data types. In addition to the straight streaming of audio or video data via dedicated hardware interfaces, Microchip’s new Linux driver enables easy and harmonized access to all data types. Besides IP-based communication over the standard Linux Networking Stack, all MOST network data types are accessible via the regular device nodes of the Linux Virtual File System (VFS). Additionally, high-quality and multi-channel synchronous audio data can be seamlessly delivered by the Advanced Linux Sound System Architecture (ALSA) subsystem.

Support is currently available for beta customers. The full version is expected for broad release in October.

Source: Microchip Technology