Multicore MCUs target ADAS applications

March 14, 2011 // By Phil Ling
A new range of 32-bit MCU family has been designed to make advanced driver assistance systems more affordable for a broad range of vehicles. It could help promote safety features, such as blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning systems, side view assistance and adaptive headlights. These and similar advanced automotive safety systems are part of the rapidly growing market known as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that one in three fatal passenger vehicle crashes and one in five serious or moderate injury crashes could have been avoided if more vehicles had been equipped with crash-avoidance technologies. Freescale Semiconductor's family of Qorivva 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) is designed to help make advanced driver assistance systems more affordable and accessible for a broad range of vehicle models.

Freescale claims that the Qorivva MPC567xK family helps reduce and, in many cases, eliminate the need for additional external signal processing components. With its high-throughput, dual-core architecture, high-density on-chip memory and optimised signal processing engines (SPE), the MPC567xK family delivers an affordable, compelling solution for the latest ADAS applications.

The MPC567xK family uses a dual core implementation of the new Z7 Power Architecture CPU. This same core is used on the MPC5674F which recently achieved an unprecedented benchmark score of 305 Automarks in the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium's (EEMBC) AutoBench suite of tests. Even in that single core configuration the Z7 demonstrated more than three times the performance of the previous highest score set by a competitor.

Even with rapidly increasing global demand, the expense of ADAS components has sometimes made it difficult for automakers to incorporate the systems into the full range of their vehicle lineups, says Freescale.

The 32-bit, dual-core MPC567xK MCUs include a lock-step mode to detect and mitigate common hardware and software faults while meeting automotive software integrity level D standards ahead of anticipated global legislative mandates for more active safety. Ideal for radar- and camera-based ADAS, the MPC567xK family operates at up to 180 MHz, with up to 2 MB flash memory and 512K SRAM.

Freescale announced the Qorivva line of 32-bit automotive MCUs in November 2010. In addition, the company announced the expansion of the Xtrinsic intelligent sensing portfolio with a 77 GHz silicon Germanium (siGe) chipset for intelligent radar technology. Freescale's Qorivva MPC567xK family, in combination with