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    Cypress claims inside track in automotive body electronics

    Connectivity is its key differentiator

    By Majeed Ahmad | May 10, 2017

    “We will win where we focus,” says Cypress Semiconductor president and CEO Hassane El-Khoury. And, one of the areas his company has been focusing on is body electronics in automobiles. Cypress sees an inflection point in body electronics amid the rising tide of in-vehicle networking.

    While ADAS and autonomous car technologies are stealing all the headlines, body electronics has been enjoying a strong consumer demand for new vehicle designs across the board. That’s because it improves the comfort of vehicle occupants while making cars safer and smarter.

    Body electronics—anything in the vehicle cabin, including HVAC, side mirrors, etc.—provides control functions, implements diagnostics and safety features, and manages power to facilitate features like power windows, sliding doors, seat controllers, and smart keyless entry.

    Buttressed by its acquisitions, such as Spansion and Broadcom’s IoT division, Cypress is now the top supplier of components for instrument cluster with 40 percent of market share. And now the chipmaker is aiming to earn a leading position in the next-generation body electronics platforms.

    But how will Cypress stand out from the rest of the pack in body electronics? Connectivity is going to be a key differentiator. Cypress says that seven out of the top eight automotive OEMs employ the integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth solutions that are based on its Traveo automotive MCUs and other PSoCs.

    The system-level diagram of HVAC control unit shows the increasing level of complexity in body electronics.

    Secure connections at low power

    Cypress’ renewed confidence can also be attributed to a major design win.

    German powerhouse, Continental AG, the top Tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry, recently picked the Traveo™ II II family of automotive MCUs for body electronics products that include central body control modules, sunroof control units, seat control units, smartphone terminals, and wireless power charging units.

    Connectivity is raising the bar for body electronics, and, according to Cypress, the multicore Traveo II microcontroller, based on ARM® Cortex®-M7 and -M4 cores, handles the connectivity requirements using advanced peripherals that support the CAN-FD, Ethernet and FlexRay communication protocols.

    Moreover, to prevent cars from being hacked, a critical demand in the increasingly connected automobile body electronics, the MCUs feature the enhanced Secure Hardware Extension (eSHE) support to safeguard connections to ECUs.

    Power is another vital consideration in body electronics and the Traveo MCUs ensure low power consumption with a deep sleep mode. The Traveo II microcontrollers will start sampling in the second half of 2017.