ST designs processors specifically for vehicle telematics

October 01, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics has introduced a new family of application-specific processors for automotive telematics and connectivity applications; the Telemaco2 new family offers a set of scalable, small-footprint, automotive-grade, Linux-programmable microcontrollers that are dedicated to in-car systems that enhance safety, comfort, and fuel efficiency.

Telemaco2-powered solutions address applications such as automatic calling of emergency services in the event of an accident, continuous car-to-cloud connectivity, remote car diagnostics, and road-topology processing.

Telematics is widely expected to become an increasingly important part of all vehicles, including private cars, business fleets, and public transport. This trend is strongly supported by important Government policies such as the recent EU law mandating that all new cars sold in the EU from April 2018 must incorporate "eCall" technology. eCall allows the car to automatically call emergency services after an accident and provide essential information such as the exact location of the vehicle and the direction of travel.

Until now, ST says, the automotive telematics industry has used processors that were not specifically designed for this purpose and therefore included more functions—and used more silicon real estate--than is actually needed. Its Telemaco2 devices minimise the cost of developing and manufacturing these emerging applications by including only the essential silicon IP blocks, by being independent of modem technology such as 2G/3G/LTE, and by allowing designers to use the wide range of available Linux open-source software components.

Features of the Telemaco2 processors include:

- Embedded independent boot core, eliminating the need for an external boot MCU;

- Integrated secure CAN (Controller Area Network) subsystem, eliminating the need for a separate in-vehicle bus controller;

- Pre-integrated and validated GNSS and Dead Reckoning software library for efficient combination with ST's Teseo multi-constellation automotive-positioning ICs;

- Integrated Power Management circuitry, further reducing the BOM;

- Built-in RSA authentication, ensuring security of the embedded system code.

The Telemaco2 family currently comprises four devices (STA1074, STA1078, STA1079, and STA1088) that offer different combinations of feature sets for cost-effective and scalable telematics implementations.