Changes And Challenges In Auto MCUs

Why automakers are shifting their emphasis from custom hardware to differentiating in software.


Microcontrollers have been a key component in automotive for years, starting with single-core devices with limited on-chip memory for very basic functions, and evolving toward multi-core systems with more memory for more complex tasks. But as vehicles become increasingly automated, microcontrollers are changing significantly, and so is the perception of how to utilize them. These new devices need to function within tight power constraints, extreme ambient temperatures, and they need to have enough compute horsepower, memory, and throughput to make rapid decisions. Kajetan Nürnberger software concept engineer at Infineon, and Guy Ben-Haim, senior product manager at Synopsys, talk about the shift in emphasis from using chips as a differentiator to a powerful but more standardized element that can be used for customized software development, allowing auto OEMs to get to market faster, and to leverage economies of scale with early software prototyping.

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