ST unveils MCUs for Software-Defined electric vehicles

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STMicroelectronics has unveiled automotive microcontrollers (MCUs) that have been optimised for electric vehicles and centralised (domain and zonal) electronic architectures.

In current EVs, high-efficiency SiC-based (silicon carbide) power modules enable the greatest driving range and faster charging. Until now, however, they have required dedicated high-speed signal processors to control the advanced SiC power semiconductors.

ST’s Stellar E MCUs have been designed for the next generation of software-defined EVs, and integrate high-speed control-loop processing on-chip. One MCU can now control the entire module. This simplifies the module design, saves costs, and eases compliance with automotive safety and security standards.

The MCUs extend ST’s Arm-based Stellar family and are designed from the ground up and as a powerful, centralised domain and zone controller, the family simplifies automotive electrical architectures for increased power, flexibility, and safety.

Currently, the MCUs family includes 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 deliver high performance with the opportunity for lock-step redundancy and support real-time hardware virtualization.

All Stellar devices are designed for software upgradeability through secure over-the-air (OTA) updates.

“Our Stellar MCUs enable state-of-the-art electrification while ensuring efficient energy management and software-defined flexibility for vehicle lifecycle management,” said Luca Rodeschini, Automotive and Discrete Group Vice President, Strategic Business Development and Automotive Processing and RF General Manager, STMicroelectronics. “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. The ability to update software securely over the air lets manufacturers refine their control strategies for extra driving range, performance, and power efficiency.”

The first product in the Stellar E series, the Stellar SR5E1 optimised for EV on-board chargers (OBC) and general DC/DC converters, is now sampling. Full production will begin in 2023.