Automotive processor supplier NXP recently announced the new S32K39 series of automotive microcontrollers (MCUs). The advanced S32K39 MCUs are optimised for control applications in electric vehicles and provide higher energy efficiency with high-resolution, high-speed control. As a result, they increase the range of vehicles, improve the driving experience and thus make the electrification of automotive transport fit for the future. They have networking, safety and functional security capabilities that go beyond those of traditional automotive MCUs. As a result, they meet the requirements of zonal vehicle E/E architectures and software-defined cars. The new MCUs complement NXP’s electrification portfolio and, together with the battery management system (BMS) and EV inverters, complete it into end-to-end solutions for the next generation of electric vehicles.
The high-performance S32K39 MCUs are optimised for intelligent and high-precision control of traction inverters that convert the direct current from the electric vehicle’s battery into alternating current. This is needed to drive modern traction motors. The MCUs support both conventional bipolar insulated gate transistors (IGBTs) and newer silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) technologies. With dual 200 kHz control loops to improve power efficiency, they enable smaller, lighter and more efficient inverters, allowing motors to achieve greater range. The MCUs can also control six-phase motors with higher power density and fault tolerance, improving long-term reliability. A safe ASIL-D software resolver and integrated sine wave generators and sigma-delta converters eliminate the need for external components, reducing overall system costs. In conjunction with the NXP S32E real-time processor, the S32K39 MCUs also provide the flexibility to control up to four traction inverters and can implement advanced traction functions for four-wheel drive electric vehicles in this configuration.
The S32K39 series’ versatile architecture also makes it suitable for a wide range of electric mobility applications beyond traction inverter control, including battery management system (BMS), on-board charging (OBC) and DC/DC conversion.
„The S32K39 MCUs offer a compelling combination of advanced technologies that provide automotive manufacturers with tremendous flexibility and scalability to accelerate the development of their electric vehicles and deploy the latest electrification technologies,” said Allan Mcauslin, Director Vehicle Control and Electrification Segment at NXP Semiconductors. “NXP is leading the way with a comprehensive portfolio of complementary solutions. This enables us to empower our customers to deliver a better driving experience and revolutionise electromobility.”
Development samples, evaluation boards and a comprehensive set of software support and tools are now available to lead customers. The S32K39 MCUs can be combined with the NXP FS26 Safety System Basis Chip (SBC) and the GD3162 advanced high-voltage isolated gate driver with adjustable dynamic gate strength control to create a safe inverter control system. Both support the highest level of functional safety (ASIL D) for traction inverter design. Production release is planned for the fourth quarter of 2023. www.nexp.com