Processing platform simplifies vehicle computing architecture

October 16, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
NXP has introduced a computing platform for vehicles that promises to drastically reduce hardware and software complexity. At the same time, the platform brings functional safety to high-performance microprocessors.

In an environment where the volume of installed software in today's automobiles is already in the range of 100 million lines of code (LoC) and complexity continues to increase continuously, action is needed: OEMs will place importance in the future on cleaning up the electronics architecture and putting a stop to the increase in complexity. To this end, automakers are in the process of clearing out and modularizing the widely dispersed ECU landscape in the vehicles, and combining the large number of functions in a few domain computers (see Fig. 1). ECUs of the same risk category are accommodated in the same domains.


From dozens of dispersed ECUs to a few powerful domain controllers.
With its S32 platform, NXP wants to create the basis
for a consistent computer architecture. 

Chip manufacturer NXP has foreseen this development and developed a computer platform for it. The S32 platform combines high-performance processors with functional security up to the maximum level of ASIL D. "Functional Safety is no longer a witchcraft, but the solutions available on the market do not represent the maximum of performance," says Lars Reger, CTO of NXP. “Our platform offers customers a tenfold increase in computing power compared to today's standards," said NXP. With this comment, Reger probably is targeting Infineon's widely used Aurix architecture.


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