Modern cars and trucks are evolving into supercomputers on wheels. Millions of lines of code
written, checked, debugged and secured to offer safety, security and performance features but
also comfort and entertainment options, driving the entire automotive industry forward to provide
complex and elegant solutions meant to be invisible for drivers and passengers.
Vehicles today can have approximately 45 processor-based electronic control units (ECUs) running
between 100 and 200 million lines of code. This is a sizable jump from a decade ago
where average 30 processors were wired throughout the body of a car executing nearly 10 million
lines of code1. This unprecedented rate of progress in automotive technology is placing a heavy
burden on carmakers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for meeting customer expectations
around performance, utility and convenience, but also to comply with stringent security and
safety standards plus rigorous global emission regulations. The current automotive market demands
more innovative electronics and code, expanding both ECU and software breakthroughs.
Delivering on its promise to tackle the cost and complexity of automotive software development,
S32K3 Automotive MCU
enters the market with comprehensive ready-to-use offerings: hardware tools, production-grade
software packages, and an ecosystem of industry-leading partners. S32K3 MCUs address the latest
general-purpose applications demanding high-level safety, security and software requirements,
targeting vehicle edge nodes, domain and zone control, and vehicle electrification.
S32K3 Automotive MCU
NXP engineered S32K3 microcontrollers from a strong foundation, their siblings
S32K1 MCUs which
have been in production since 2016. With the addition of the S32K3, the
S32K family now
offers improved performance, peripheral capability and power consumption. The S32K144/24/34 MCUs
are currently in production and available with single, dual and lockstep Arm®
Cortex®-M7 core configurations, respectively. Each combines up to 4 MB of flash
memory with over-the-air (OTA) update capabilities, CAN FD, 100 Mbit Ethernet, precision timing
and analog features, offered in both standard BGA packages and new MaxQFP –reducing the footprint
up to 55% compared to standard QFP.
Helping Minimize Software Development Cost and Complexity
We provide S32K3 MCUs with an extensive package of production-grade software enabling developers
to harness its advanced safety, security and connectivity features while helping to minimize
software development cost and complexity.
AUTOSAR compliance is increasingly the "entry ticket" for new automotive designs providing a
standardized layer between the application software and ECU hardware. Considering this, NXP now
real-time drivers (RTD): a unified software package with enhanced and extended ISO 26262 up to ASIL D compliant drivers
for S32K3 MCUs and compatible analog SBCs. RTD eliminates AUTOSAR MCAL production license cost and
offers a safety-compliant driver package for non-AUTOSAR applications. RTD is configurable with
S32 Design Studio for S32 platform
(S32DS) or with partner tools.
Both safety and security are must-have features in automotive design nowadays, not only from
customers (drivers and passengers) but also from government and authorities pressuring for
reaching stringent standards.
To address safety, S32K3 microcontrollers are equipped with safety IP in abundance: lockstep
cores, ECC-enabled memories, and a range of hardware and software safety monitors. Also, NXP built
S32 Safety Software Framework (SAF)
to give a foundation for ISO 26262 compliance, relieving customers from the complex task of
researching the on-chip safety IP and then developing their software drivers and libraries. SAF
features six safety libraries and provides fault detection and reaction mechanisms for managing
single point and latent hardware faults during boot-up, run-time and recovery. We also offer a
Safety Peripheral Drivers package for developers who prefer a lighter version. In addition, NXP
put together its
Structural Core Self-Test (SCST)
library, providing up to 90% diagnostic coverage in ASIL B applications.
To address security, NXP offers the future-proof
hardware security engine (HSE)
and a security firmware bundle, with the option of being able to be customized to meet
OEM-specific requirements. Also, our new
Inter-Platform Communication Framework (IPCF)
streamlines the communication in multi-core/multi-OS systems. IPCF enables homogenous and
heterogenous cores in single- and multi-chip systems to communicate efficiently over shared media
without conflicts when accessing shared resources.
Together is Better With Our Industry-Leading Partnerships
Beyond S32K3 MCUs' rich enablement of hardware tools and software packages, NXP collaborated with industry-leading global partners to offer development tools, AUTOSAR software and engineering design services.
With new standards to comply with and new technologies to design for, this S32K3 partner ecosystem
helps support customers new to the automotive landscape or current customers that require
dedicated technical support for building next-generation domain control, body electronics and
battery management systems. Some of our partners are:
(platinum partner): supporting S32K3 on its IAR Embedded Workbench for Arm development
toolchain, helping maximize software/application performance while maintaining a high level of
code quality and achieving functional safety compliance.
P&E Microcomputer Systems
(gold partner): integrating its development tools with our S32DS for programming and debugging
S32K3, together with available SDK firmware and drivers.
(gold partner): providing full support to our S32K3 on its TRACE32® debug system
and its Tool Qualification Support Kit (TQSK), offering engineers a proven, qualified set of
tools for their ISO 26262 up to ASIL D applications.
LDRA: offering software assurance on its LDRA tool suite and our S32DS for mission-critical systems
powered by S32K3, helping reduce the cost and effort associated with developing, testing, and
PLS development tools
(gold partner): giving customers extensive debug and trace functions for S32K3 on its Universal
Debug Engine with optimized debug, analysis and test functions.
Some members of the S32K3 partner ecosystem
Vehicle Innovations Evolve with Software
The automotive industry is coupled with embedded software development: for each new function, a
corresponding ECU must be added together with developed new code. The next generation of cars and
trucks will have around 60 processors organized in domain/zonal controllers, running up to 1,000
million lines of code2. Hence, automotive software will increase exponentially,
becoming one of the main differentiators from which suppliers must start building competencies to
ensure competitiveness as most vehicle innovations are now tied to software.
S32K3 Automotive MCU family is now available for
everyone with a comprehensive enablement package, tackling software cost and complexity! S32K3
microcontrollers help engineers design solutions with functional safety up to ASIL D and security
features while maximizing software reuse across processor platforms.
1,2 Strategy Analytics, OEM/Tier1 public statements, New York
Times, NXP CMI