NXP S32K3 MCUs for easier automotive software development

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By Ally Winning

The new MCU range is part of the company’s S32K product line. It builds on its family’s heritage of simplifing software development with an enhanced package that spans security, functional safety and low-level drivers. The S32K3 series enables software reuse among multiple applications to reduce the complexity of vehicle software development.

“Software development is one of the central challenges in modern vehicle development and the S32K3 MCU family is designed to help customers meet it,” said Ed Sarrat, director of product management, Automotive Processing at NXP. “It accelerates development with free automotive grade drivers, simplifies security and over the air updates, and streamlines safety compliance.”

The security solution in the S32K3 MCUs includes a hardware security engine that is designed to anticipate the ISO/SAE 21434 standard. NXP’s firmware and crypto driver aims at reducing the cost and complexity of working with third party providers. The firmware maximizes the performance of the hardware security engine, blocks rogue access to protect the integrity of the security subsystem, and is field upgradable to address evolving cyber security threats.

S32K3‘s system-level approach to functional safety includes safety framework software, a core self-test library, and hardware features including lock-step cores, and clock/power/temperature monitors to ease compliance with ISO 26262 requirements. The S32K3 is also being announced with the NXP FS26 safety power management IC. The combination includes the software driver, reference design and joint safety documentation to further quicken development timelines for safety applications.

The Real Time Drivers (RTD) package integrates low level drivers for both AUTOSAR and proprietary software architectures. This will provide platform reuse to Tier1s and carmakers who no longer need to maintain separate architectures. The RTD package is production grade and complies with the ISO 26262 standard.

S32K3 allows secure OTA software updates. A smart memory design allows updates to be downloaded during normal runtime, while automatic address translation functionality eliminates the need for software reconfiguration. The features allow an instant switchover to the new software version after reset. The original software is preserved as a roll back option.

The S32K3 family provides from 512KB -8MB flash and up to 3 Arm Cortex M7 cores. It is the first NXP MCU to provide the MaxQFP package to reduce the footprint over to a standard QFP by up to 55%.

More information

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