Renesas Electronics eases safety, security, and connectivity for the car of the future


Renesas Electronics, is easing the design complexities involved in developing self-driving car and other driver assistance systems that can offer users with a safe, secure, and convenient driving experience. The new RH850/P1x-C Series, a high-end version of the RH850/P1x Series of 32-bit automotive microcontrollers (MCUs), is designed for sensor fusion, gateway, and advanced chassis system applications that will enable the types of advanced systems envisioned in the car of the future.

“The new RH850/P1x-C are automotive safety MCUs that combine on a single-chip functional safety technology, security technology, and vehicle control network technology, which are the keys to realising safe vehicle control. We anticipate that the new series will become the world’s de-facto standard for the sophisticated driver assistance systems of the future,” said Ryuji Omura, executive vice president, Renesas Electronics Corporation. “With the new safety MCUs, we hope to provide our customers with new added value by extending our lineup of vehicle safety MCUs to cover a wide range of vehicle segment, and at the same time building an ecosystem with a large number of partners to create a platform that will support the realization of safer and more secure vehicles.”

Security and safety expectations are on the rise as carmakers endeavor to build vehicles that deliver a more enjoyable, convenient, and safe driving experience. While already deployed in vehicle safety systems, driver assistance systems have rapidly become more sophisticated in the lead up to self-driving cars. In order to fully realize this autonomous vision, Renesas believes that solutions are required in four areas – safety, security, sensors, and networks – and has leveraged its experience as a MCU  to develop the RH850/P1x-C Series, which incorporates all four requirements on a single chip to deliver an all-in-one solution for driver assistance systems. Renesas intends to continue to develop solutions like the RH850/P1x-C Series that generate new value in next-generation vehicle systems designed to meet these expectations.

Functional safety is essential to ensure the driver assistance system is operating safely and normally and, should a fault occur, to ensure that safety is not compromised. Levering its insights and experience with functional safety standardisation as the supplier of automotive MCUs worldwide, Renesas has designed the RH850/P1x-C Series with a full complement of functions to support functional safety and comply with ASIL D (Note 1), the highest safety level stipulated in the ISO 26262 functional safety standard for road vehicles.

The RH850/P1x-C Series is equipped with fault diagnostic functions ideal for automotive applications. Two CPUs with identical configurations operate in a lockstep system. Error check and correct (ECC) functionality detects and corrects data errors affecting memory, such as flash memory, and the internal buses. Fault detection functions for system diagnostics are also included in the peripheral functions. The built-in self-test (BIST) function can detect faults in the various fault detection function themselves. The error control module (ECM) allows users to manage error signal inputs, based on the circumstances, from the various functions, thereby helping to maintain system safety and reliability.

In the era of connected cars, in-vehicle, vehicle-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to-infrastructure networks are becoming mainstream. This connectivity allows systems to obtain information on road conditions and other factors that could impact the driving experience. It also requires robust security measures to ensure the systems are protected from unauthorised external access. The RH850/P1x-C Series integrates a new hardware security module with a coprocessor supporting data encryption and random number generation to address these mission-critical security requirements, for example building anti-tampering measures into vehicle systems.

In order to be able to respond to all types of conditions while driving, vehicles are using an increasing number of sensors, such as cameras and lasers, to collect information. This proliferation of sensors demands much larger software programs and faster processing speeds. Renesas designed the RH850/P1x-C Series with large memory capacity and a powerful CPU. Offering up to 8MB Flash, up to 960KB global RAM, and operating speeds as fast as 240MHz, the new MCUs deliver the advanced functionality and performance needed to support these requirements.

Communication networks are the lifeblood of the connected vehicle, linking driver assistance-related systems as well as other systems that interact with driver assistance systems and to implement cooperative control based on the data from the sensors. The RH850/P1x-C Series features a full array of communication functions, including Ethernet, in addition to CAN, LIN, CSI, and FlexRay. This allows the implementation of sensor fusion or complex control of chassis systems, using data obtained from a variety of sensing systems via a gateway function or vehicle network.

One suitable application for the RH850/P1x-C Series would be a driver assistance system. The RH850/P1x-C would be used in conjunction with a Renesas R-Car SoC (system-on-chip) to perform white line detection, parking assist system, or leading vehicle detection results. The R-Car SoCs would perform image recognition based on data from image sensors, and the connected RH850/P1x-C Series MCU would make judgments and apply control. Such a system could be built using only a small number of components.

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