The huge role of microcontrollers in new cars continues to grow. Volkswagen’s 2009 Golf platform will extend its networking capabilities, implementing a communications gateway with six CAN interfaces and at least two LIN interfaces for simple elements like windows and door locks. The gateway is based on a 16-bit microcontroller from Infineon Technologies, the XC2200. The gateway handles all of the internal interfaces, including the engine, entertainment systems, instrument clusters and body and convenience control units. The chips also open the door to external communication so future software updates can be installed by auto dealerships.
As manufacturers add new technologies to their products, designing for compliance becomes more difficult. Prepare for the certification testing process. Otherwise, you increase the risk of discovering a safety issue after a product leaves the assembly line. That will cause significant time-to-market delays, be much costlier to fix, and damage your brand in the eyes of customers.
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