March 13, 2012 -- As the density of automotive electronics increases to satisfy the growing functional demands of new vehicles, FPGA vendors are delivering bigger devices capable of integrating full applications, but that use less power and come in at more competitive prices than prior-generation devices. This trend points the way toward the further use of reconfigurable computing technology in the automobile industry.
We have devised an approach to designing an automotive ECU using a programmable FPGA device rather than an MCU-based platform as the foundation for an ECU that conforms to both the Automotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR) and ISO 26262 standards. Our approach explores key features such as parallelism, customization, flexibility, redundancy and versatility of the reconfigurable hardware. After designing the concept, we hope to implement it in a prototype. For this purpose, the Xilinx Zynq-7000 Extensible Processing Platform which combines a hard ARM dual-core Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a 28-nm Xilinx 7 series programmable logic device equipped with dynamic partial-reconfiguration capability, is an excellent candidate. This FPGA platform meets the needed requirements and also features on-chip communication controllers commonly used in the vehicle networks, like CAN and Ethernet.
By Francisco Fons and Mariano Fons. (Francisco and Mariano Fons are both Ph.D. Candidates at the University or Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.
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