NXP Unveils S32 Automotive Safety Processors

Claimed to have the highest ASIL D performance, the microprocessors manage the systems that control vehicle dynamics in electric and autonomous vehicles.


By Murray Slovick, Contributing Editor

NXP Semiconductors’ recently announced family of S32S microprocessors is designed to handle systems that accelerate, brake, and steer vehicles safely, whether under the direct control of a driver or an autonomous vehicle’s control.

Figure 1: S32S processor block diagram. (Source: NXP)

“We see that the shift to next-generation autonomous and electric vehicles is introducing huge challenges to carmakers,” said Ian Riches, executive director in the Strategy Analytics Global Automotive Practice. “Not least of these is the ability to get silicon in hand fast enough and with enough performance headroom to ease the transitions to autonomous and advanced HEV/EV. A car can be extremely intelligent, but if it can’t act safely on a decision, you don’t have a reliable autonomous system at all.”

NXP says the new processors meet the certified ASIL D (Automotive Safety Integrity Level D) criteria.The platform features four fully independent ASIL D capable processing paths to support parallel safe computing. What’s more, thenew S32S architecture supports a new “fail availability” feature that enables the device to continue in operation after detecting and isolating a failure.

For example, the T S32S24 is an Arm-R52 based microcontroller claimed to have more than 7X the performance of previous-generation devices. As such, it provides the performance headroom to manage the transition to advanced HEV/EV and autonomous vehicles applications.

Figure 2: The S32S is targeted at a range of applications. (Source: NXP)

NXP partnered with OpenSynergy to develop a real-time hypervisor supporting NXP S32S products. OpenSynergy’s COQOS Micro SDK hypervisor platform enables the integration of multiple real-time operating systems onto microcontrollers requiring safety levels of up to ISO26262 ASIL D. Multiple vendor-independent OS/stacks can also run on a single microcontroller.

Other features of S32S products include:

  • Integrated flash memory (up to 64 MB) supporting on-the-fly, over-the-air update capability with zero processor downtime.
  • A user-programmable hardware security engine with private and public key support
  • Available PCIe for ADAS domain supervisory applications
  • Electric-motor-control peripherals plus motor-control software libraries
  • Software and tools: Autosar MCAL and OS, security firmware, safety software-development kit, and hardware-development tools including NXP GreenBox Electrification Platform.

The GreenBox is a development platform for engineers to begin development of next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) using multicore Arm MCUs. It’s available in two versions: The S32PDEVPL-KITC includes the peripheral board for HEV and internal combustion engine applications, while theS32SDEVPL-KITP has the peripheral board for motor-control and battery-management applications.

Figure 3: The GreenBox platform is intended for HEV development. (Source: NXP)

NXP notes that GreenBox is only available for purchase for approved customers. The company says, “Each order will be reviewed prior to being fulfilled.”


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