The ISO 26262, a functional safety standard for automotive electronic control units, is likely to be published within 2011. Once it is published, fail-safe functions will have to be incorporated in microcontrollers, which are the principal components of electronic control units, to ensure safe control even in the event of failure of certain functions. The market for microcontrollers compliant with functional safety standards is expected to grow rapidly.
Toshiba’s functional safety microcontrollers employ the “single-core tightly coupled method” whose CPU core has a dedicated monitoring circuit. Technology licensed from YOGITECH S.p.A. of Italy is applied to part of the monitoring circuit. Unlike the conventional “dual-core lock step method”, the single-core tightly coupled method, with the built-in monitoring circuit, achieves immediate detection of internal system failure and can accurately narrow down the location of the failure.
Therefore, Toshiba says, it’s microcontrollers are ideal for use in the development of fail-operational electronic control systems capable of maintaining operation of a vehicle with the minimum functions in the event of failure. Toshiba says it intends to win a larger share of the global microcontroller market by expanding the line-up of products compliant with functional safety standards.