Speedy Freescale controller adds security function

  • 30-Apr-2012 05:37 EDT
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Freescale’s tri-core microcontroller includes many security features and a development infrastructure that includes this reference design.


Performance and reliability are key factors for a new powertrain microcontroller from Freescale Semiconductor, but security is also an important factor in the design. Concerns about hackers and owners who want to tweak emissions are driving a new emphasis on protecting data.

The Qorivva MPC5746M is the company’s first 32-bit microcontroller built with three Power Architecture cores. Each core runs at 200 MHz, giving the device greater computing power without increasing power consumption. It runs five times faster than Freescale’s MPC5644A while consuming about the same amount of power.

The microcontroller also includes hefty amounts of memory, 4 MB of flash, and 320 KB of SRAM. It also houses a number of peripherals including network interfaces and analog-to-digital converters. The chip can be used in a range of applications, but one of its primary targets is demanding engine systems and transmissions.

One of the three cores is a hardware security module that encrypts data and provides data protection. The dedicated security core has its own SRAM (static random-access memory) and a cryptographic module, as well as flash memory security features such as flash censorship support, advanced debug access control, and secure boot modes.

“Security is becoming a bigger and bigger issue,” said Tony Veri, Microcontroller Product Marketing Manager for Freescale. “OEMs are concerned about hackers as more vehicle electronics go wireless, and they want to prevent aftermarket tuners from changing emissions and other parameters to suit their wants.”

Freescale has also beefed up its development support ecosystem. AUTOSAR support is included in the tools, as are an advanced emulation and calibration environment. This eCal feature lets customers use the same hardware for development and calibration.

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