Single-chip telematics/connectivity processors en route to connected-driving services

January 04, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics’ ‘Telemaco’ family combines telematics and connectivity functions in the same chip, to build an economical, scalable platform; the ICs include hardware-accelerated cybersecurity and extra processing power to support more sophisticated connected-driving applications.

The Telemaco3 family increases performance for telematics and connectivity applications, compared to the previous Telemaco2 generation, by upgrading the execution speed of the power- and area-efficient main processor more than 3.5X--from 700 DMIPS to 2500 DMIPS.

 

The dedicated ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller, which manages the interface with the vehicle CAN network, supports the latest CAN-FD flexible data-rate standard that allows higher data speeds and greater communication efficiency. In addition, the new hardware-accelerated crypto engine strengthens authentication of data and OTA system updates.

 

The DSP sound subsystem is an optional feature that enhances the audio quality of in-car connectivity applications with features such as noise cancellation.

 

Off-chip interfaces provide high performance and give flexibility to system designers. They include interfaces for CAN-FD drivers, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless modules, an analogue power amplifier output, and interfaces for external memory including Flash and DDR3 SDRAM. The on-chip DDR3 controller allows designers to use cost-effective and high-performing storage with PC-market economies of scale.

 

Software-development support includes a rich Linux kernel and board-support package (BSP), middleware including communication stacks and navigation software, and a FreeRTOS kernel for the Cortex-M3 subsystem.ST cites Telematics systems that monitor on-board sensors and exchange information with the Cloud, plus high-value services including remote vehicle diagnostics, roadside assistance, and Over-The-Air (OTA) software updates. Infotainment features such as location-based services and access to personal content and contacts add further benefit for end users.

 

ST shaped the Telemaco concept to maximize consumer access to these advanced connected-driving services through the cost-effective integration of the telematics processor, secure in-car connectivity, and sound boosting in a single chip. Rather than an application processor or a GSM modem with integrated CPU (Central Processing Unit), ST’s latest Telemaco3 chips are tailored for telematics applications and give extra flexibility to choose the connection type, such as 2G, 3G, or 4G. At the same time, the secure interface with the in-vehicle network is