- Jake Wiltgen - Mentor, A Siemens Business
Vehicle architecture design is converging to a more centralized, domain-processing model. These domain-based processors are the new key differentiator for car buyers. Domains such as automated driving, vehicle connectivity and mobility solutions that rely on sophisticated AI algorithms and intense computations require SoCs optimized for the specific challenges of each application. As a result, many manufacturers are bringing chip design and verification in-house to create bespoke chips that provide the needed functionality while meeting tight power, performance, and area requirements.
Despite the numerous challenges involved in designing SoCs for autonomous vehicles, the most substantial obstacle to their success is earning the trust of the public (Figure 1). One way autonomous vehicle (AV) manufacturers can establish this trust is to demonstrate the safety and reliability of their platform through safety standards and certification. To that end, the automotive industry has established a set of procedures and standards focused on the safety of electrical and electronic systems, known as functional safety.
The goal of functional safety is to reduce the risk of electrical and electronic components malfunctioning due to failures. In the automotive industry, these procedures and requirements have been formalized in the ISO 26262 standard. ISO 26262 requires that electronics be tested for random hardware failures and systematic faults. ISO 26262 is also the technical state of the art for automotive electronics safety, making compliance essential for automotive manufacturers and suppliers that release products susceptible to liability suits.
Systematic faults are those that prevent an integrated circuit from operating correctly according to the product specifications. These could be design bugs, hardware/software interface problems, misinterpreted or incomplete specifications and so forth. The IC industry has accrued a lot of knowledge, tools, and processes for dealing with systematic faults. In comparison, the industry is less experienced and not as well-equipped for finding and resolving random hardware faults. Random hardware faults are unpredictable and occur over time as the IC operates.
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Read the entire Achieving Functional Safety for Autonomous Vehicle SoC Designs technical paper.