MCU Supervision in Automotive Safety-Critical ECU

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Szabó Zoltán
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

Probably it would be hard to find a more actual topic nowadays in the development of the automotive electronic control units than the usage possibilities of the multi-core microcontrollers. The continuous enhancement of microelectronics in the last decade has made possible the widespread use of processors that have more than one core inside. The use of these is reasonable in more and more areas of life not only in the aspects of performance but also in economical dimension.

The appearance of multi-core microcontrollers in automotive safety-critical ECUs has posed new challenges for developers both from the hardware and software perspective. Since the safety criteria of these ECUs require the microcontroller to be continuously supervised by an external hardware device, there is a need for even more enhanced supervisory devices besides the redundant internal structure of the multi-core microcontrollers. These devices are the safety watchdogs.

My task has been to create a peripheral driver for the microcontroller supervisory functions of a chip that contains such a safety watchdog. The driver shall be usable both in bootloader and application, so it shall operate without using further complex software modules or system calls. The work has taken place at the development institute of Knorr-Bremse Systems for Commercial Vehicles, Budapest.


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