Programmable technology is expanding in under hood power-train and safety systems applicationsBy Martin Mason, Actel CorporationDecember 12, 2007 -- pldesignline.com
Automotive manufacturers have long desired a reprogrammable technology able to be applied in a single platform targeted at multiple product models, with the flexibility to adapt and change during lengthy product lifecycles. For example, the ability to design a single engine control module or safety system that can be integrated into both economy and luxury models enables automotive OEMs to streamline design and leverage engineering resources across their entire product line.
But the critical nature of automotive under hood (power train) and safety systems has historically relegated field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology to non-system critical applications like telematics and infotainment. Manufacturers have been forced to use hard-wired ASICs and application-specific standard products (ASSPs) in system-critical applications in order to ensure firm-error immunity and extended temperature operation—until now. Programmable logic technology has finally evolved to the point where it can reliably and cost-effectively serve the needs of under hood and safety systems in automotive applications. Still, there are a number of considerations which must be taken into account when applying the technology in a design.
Following are some issues that can impact FPGA architecture selection:
Click here to read more ...