Automotive MCUs target software-defined electric vehicles

STMicroelectronics has launched a new series of automotive microcontrollers (MCUs) that are optimized for electric vehicles (EVs) and centralized (domain and zonal) electronic architectures. Designed for the next generation of software-defined EVs, the Stellar E (Electrification) MCUs, integrate high-speed control-loop processing ON-chip, enabling one MCU to control the silicon-carbide (SiC)-based power module.

Automotive MCUs target software-defined electric vehiclesUntil now, the SiC-based power modules required a dedicated high-speed signal processor to control the SiC power semiconductors, said ST. The Stellar E MCU family eases “the transition to high-efficiency SiC-based power modules that permit extra driving range and faster charging,” and “simplifies the module design, saves costs, and eases compliance with automotive safety and security standards.”

These Stellar E Series MCUs can control multiple power converters, leveraging features including a high-speed analog-digital converter (ADC), a high accuracy pulse-width modulation (PWM) controller, and fast-acting protection circuitry. It supports the leading automotive standards for functional safety (ISO 26262 ASIL-D), security (HSM), and industry standard SW interoperability (via Autosar 4.3.x), as well as secure over-the-air (OTA) update.

This centralized domain and zone controller family is designed to simplify automotive electrical architectures. “With the new Stellar E devices, this platform now enables a new value chain for EVs. Sensing the environment, controlling vehicle dynamics, enhancing power-conversion efficiency, and safely managing high-current power stages, are effectively handled in a single component,” said Luca Rodeschini, Automotive and Discrete Group Vice President, Strategic Business Development and Automotive Processing and RF General Manager, STMicroelectronics, in a statement.

“The ability to update software securely over the air lets manufacturers refine their control strategies for extra driving range, performance, and power efficiency,” he added.

Extending ST’s Arm-based Stellar family , the Stellar E MCUs join the Stellar P series for integration and vehicle control and the Stellar G series for body applications. The Stellar family architecture integrates multiple Arm Cortex cores that support real-time hardware virtualization. All Stellar devices are designed for software upgradeability through OTA updates. They also share an extensive software-development toolchain and a common ecosystem for control and actuation.

The first product in the Stellar E series, the Stellar SR5E1, targets on-board chargers (OBC) and general DC/DC converters and is sampling to lead customers. Full production will begin in 2023.

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