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NXP Offers High-Performance MCU Series Aimed at Automobile Industry

Written by Stephen Vicinanza

NXP offers high-performance MCU series aimed at the automobile industry. The announcement was made close to the Matter smart home standard launch, and so was somewhat pushed into the background. The S32K39 series of microcontrollers are automobile industry-facing and optimized for electric vehicle (EV) control applications.

This series of MCUs offers a more up-to-date high-speed and high-resolution control system. The overall effect is to increase power efficiency and extend the driving range and additionally provide for a smoother overall driving experience.

The S32K39 MCUs provide networking and security, but also functional safety ability that rises above traditional automotive MCUs. This specifically addresses the zonal vehicle E/E architectures and software-defined vehicles.

The battery management system (BMS) and the EV power inverters provide an end-to-end solution for the next generation of EVs.

The series is considered high-performance MCUs and optimized for intelligent and high-precision control of traction inverters. These traction inverters convert the EV’s battery DC power to AC to drive the latest EV traction motors.

The S32K39 MCUs support the conventional isulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBT), but also silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) technologies. There are dual 200 kHz loops that improve power efficiency. These provide smaller, lighter, more efficient inverters, which allow motors to deliver longer driving range.

These MCUs can also control six-phase motors with increased power density, and higher fault tolerance which improve reliability over the long term, which is helping to not have short life cycles for the electronic components. This fights a recurring problem with overall EV reliability in winter and a shorter life span for the car itself.

There is a safe ASIL D software resolver, along with integrated sigma-delta and sine wave converters. This eliminates the need for external components and reduces the overall cost of the system.

This MCUs versatile architecture makes it ideal for other EV applications including the battery management system (BMS), which is an NXP proprietary system, onboard charging (OBC), and DC/DC conversion. The series is designed to support hardware isolation, time-sensitive networking, and advanced cryptography, that supports zonal architectures and software-defined vehicles.

“The S32K39 MCUs offer a compelling combination of modern technology that provide carmakers tremendous flexibility and scalability to accelerate their EV development and deploy the latest electrification technologies. NXP is leading the way with a comprehensive portfolio of complementary solutions to give our customers the ability to provide better EV driving experiences and help accelerate the electric vehicle revolution.”

To find out more about the S32K39 family of microcontrollers stop by the product page at the NXP website, found here.


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For the past 8 years, I have been writing about embedded technologies, added to my technical, academic, and medical editorial experience, with companies like Elsevier and Cambridge University Press. I tell people to read what I write, not try to pronounce my last name. I am always available for comments and suggestions you can reach me at and I promise I will take the time to reach back out to you. I live in the North East with my wonderful family.

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NXP Offers High-Performance MCU Series Aimed at Automobile Indust…

by Stephen Vicinanza time to read: 2 min