The brains behind automotive storage in the connected car: Page 3 of 5

December 10, 2019 //By Axel Mehnert, Hyperstone
The brains behind automotive storage in the connected car
The flash memory controller is a key ingredient in automotive storage and is responsible for managing a range of specific use cases and challenges.

Unstable power is a common issue across industrially demanding markets. However, when it comes to cars and human lives it has never been more important. In Hyperstone’s case, the controller is designed with an internal voltage detector which monitors the supply of voltage and can be customized depending on the use-case. If the voltage drops below a certain level the internal reset detector triggers, the firmware will finish current commands and assert the flash write-protect signal, making sure the data in the memory cannot possibly be compromised.

While fairly hidden within modules, the flash memory controller is an integral component in automotive storage modules, if not the most important, as it is ultimately the deciding factor as to how reliable, long lasting and efficient data processing will be carried out within the system. The controller must handle environmental issues such as unstable power, temperature variations, shock vibration and ESD as well as application usage which effects data integrity. Manufacturers who want to offer high quality storage should be considering controllers that have not only been designed for these environmental requirements but tested not only with qualified flashes but unique use cases, depending on write and or read demands of the storage module.

The information and support systems in the cars started with GPS-/ Navigation- and In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems and over the years, drive recorders, telematics and Advance Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) were added. These systems have different demands regarding the data systems’ strengths. For example, the data on GPS and Navigation systems is usually read more than written because these systems provide maps that are read constantly in order to give the shortest or fastest directions. In contrary, drive recorder or telematics spend significantly more time writing than reading, as they are continuously collecting data from various data sources (e.g. cameras) and recording what is happening during the trip.

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