Microcontrollers simplify automotive software development

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NXP Semiconductors N.V. has expanded its S32K family of microcontrollers (MCU), targeting simplified software development, with the introduction of the S32K3 MCU family. The new S32K3 MCUs, designed for automotive body electronics, battery management and emerging zone controllers, simplifies software development with an enhanced package that spans security, functional safety and low-level drivers.

The S32K3 expands NXP’s S32 automotive platform from gateway and domain control into zone control and edge nodes, said the company. It also enables software reuse among multiple applications to reduce the complexity of vehicle software development for Tier 1 suppliers and carmakers.

The new S32K3 MCUs provides free automotive-grade drivers and over-the-air (OTA) security updates and streamlines safety compliance for ASIL certification. The security solution includes the hardware security engine and is designed to anticipate the ISO/SAE 21434 standard still in development and future OEM requirements.

NXP also provides its own firmware and crypto driver to help reduce the cost and complexity of engaging with third-party providers. The firmware maximizes the performance of the hardware security engine, blocks rogue access to protect the integrity of the security subsystem, and is field upgradable to address evolving cyber security threats, said NXP.

The S32K3‘s system-level approach to functional safety includes safety framework software, a core self-test library, and hardware features such as lock-step cores, and clock/power/temperature monitors, which ease compliance with ISO 26262 requirements.

The S32K3 family offers scalability from 512 KB – 8 MB of flash with up to three Arm Cortex M7 cores. It is the first NXP MCU to offer the MaxQFP package which reduces the footprint by up to 55%, compared to a standard QFP.

NXP also announced the FS26 safety power management IC. The combination of the S32K3 and FS26 delivers the software driver, reference design, and joint safety documentation to further accelerate customer development timelines for safety applications, said NXP.

Engineering samples, evaluation boards, and a software package for the first product in the S32K3 family are now available for alpha customers.

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