ESC

Automotive

Carolyn Mathas
Editor
Cars have become computers on wheels, with more and more automotive design being driven by electronics. Stay up to speed on automotive design with this site. Topics discussed include hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs), infotainment, safety systems, solid-state lighting, powertrain, x-by wire, Human Machine Interface (HMI), telematics/in-vehicle navigation, and more.

Which software automates your tests?

A poll on EE Times asks which of several software packages engineers use to automate tests. Tell us which you use. Read More...

Reverse bias techniques for high-end automotive microcontrollers & low leakage

A reverse-bias technique to reduce leakage, especially at high temperature (e.g., automotive). Read More...

Security architecture for automotive microcontroller flash memory

Read about various ways flash memory can be secured against malicious or accidental modification. Read More...

Signal analyzer measures 64 IEPE channels

Connect IEPE accelerometers directly to the Data Translation VIbox, then analyze sound and vibration signals. Read More...

How soft errors damage vital information

Here is how soft errors occur and how they can cause damage to critical data stored in semiconductor memories. The article covers the sources and the likelihood of their occurrence and explains how they impact individual memory cells, causing them to change state Read More...

7 data-acquisition systems attach directly to sensors

When assembling a data-acquisition system, be sure to compare these systems that require no external signal conditioning. Sensors connect directly to the systems. Read More...

The NXP-Freescale merger—A $4 billion giant

The NXP/Freescale merger will create a giant expected to hog the road and market share for automotive systems. Read More...

Handle SEUs with C-slow retiming

Using C-Slow Retiming to generate a time-redundant digital design results in significantly reduced area and less power consumption, as compared to traditional techniques. Read More...

Can you use supercaps to power electric vehicles?

The high energy density of supercapacitors makes them seem like a good fit for EVs compared to batteries, and one such suggestion was awarded an honorable mention—but is it really technically viable, or even a good idea? Read More...

Self-driving cars? Puhleeeze…

I love the idea of self-driving cars, but how can we trust the automakers to engineer them well enough? Read More...

Adaptive headlights solve fixed-beam challenges

Headlight controls are often limited by a fixed beam direction that can only be switched between high beam and low beam. This makes it difficult to drive when there are multiple turns on the road or when the slope of the road changes. Here’s a low cost and adaptive solution. Read More...

Design capacitive touch sensors in five easy steps—Part IV

. In Part 4, we will finish Steps 4 and 5 – validation and mass production – of designing capacitive sensing systems with MBR devices. Read More...

Designing Capacitive Touch Sensors in Five Easy Steps--Part III

In Part 3, we look at more example applications and how MBR devices can be configured to enable the specialized features that these applications require. Read More...

Networking automotive aftermarket radios

The 2015 CES show featured both OEM infotainment in cars and a large number of aftermarket players delivering the connected car concept to the marketplace. Read More...

Vision recognition in OEM and aftermarket apps

Aftermarket applications now also include lane detection and forward collision avoidance capabilities. Read More...

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Antilog converter linearizes carbon dioxide sensor

Simplify gas sensor interface with some analog preprocessing. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 65V 500mA step-down converter fits automotive and industrial applications

This switcher is happy to drop a 60V input all the way down to 0.8V. Read More...

Inductively sense aircraft engine valve position

Aircraft engine designers are conservative by nature, but here's a way to improve performance anyway. Read More...

Design Notes: 42V 2.5A Synchronous Step-Down Regulator with 2.5μA Quiescent Current

This efficient solution allows for small inductors and high switching frequency. Read More...

Precision capacitance meter

There's an art to capacitance measurement. What do you think of this rendition? Read More...

Sense automobile high-side current with discrete components

Use this circuit to convert a current into a voltage for measurement. Read More...

Current monitor uses Hall sensor

Use a Hall-effect sensor to measure dc current in the range of 0 to 40A. Read More...

Simple circuit helps to protect a vehicle-reverse camera

Add a delay to prevent short power pulses as you shift through reverse. Read More...

Solar-powered sensor controls traffic

A traffic-sensor post measures vehicle location and speed at an intersection, providing an accurate, effective, inexpensive approach to monitoring traffic flow. Read More...

Power USB devices from a vehicle

Supply power to two USB devices from the cigarette lighter or other power source. Read More...

Automotive switching regulators get input-transient-voltage protection

A simple scheme protects switching regulators against 50V voltage transients in automotive applications. Read More...

Automotive link uses single wire

In the automotive industry, in which the goal is to produce cars with simpler, lighter wiring looms, any interface that uses just one wire instead of two offers a distinct advantage. The circuit in Figure 1 implements a bidirectional link using a single wire, with the car's chassis or ground conductor providing a negative return path. Read More...

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Buck controller allows 48V to 1V direct step-down

By eliminating the intermediate conversion step, this controller helps simplify distributed power system design. Read More...

Signal analyzer measures 64 IEPE channels

Connect IEPE accelerometers directly to the Data Translation VIbox, then analyze sound and vibration signals. Read More...

LED light guides deliver affordable OLED-like performance

Sleek, stylish and seductively luminous, OLED panels' silky, eerily-even glow has made them a favorite for fashion-forward lighting designers, even though they cost more, were shorter lived, and more easily damaged. This may change however, as Global Lighting Technologies' (GLT) introduces a growing number of products based on its edge-lit LED-based light guide technology. Read More...

MOST150 controller affords smart-antenna module connectivity

Compliant with the recent release of the MOST150 coaxial physical-layer specification, Microchip’s OS81118AF INIC (intelligent network interface controller) enables smart-antenna module connection to in-vehicle MOST150 ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) and infotainment networks. Read More...

High-speed RAM leverages HyperBus interface

High-speed, low pin-count RAM suits pin-limited microcontrollers Read More...

Vision MPU SoC surpasses existing driver assist on the road to full autonomy

Freescale upped the ante, launching a groundbreaking S32V234 vision system-on-chip (SoC) that moves the automotive industry from addressing convenience closer to taking over the wheel. Read More...

Silent Switcher with high efficiency and low EMI/EMC

The latest automotive electronics boom has added many new features to engine control, entertainment, safety systems and more. In this very harsh environment that an automobile will experience, there are stringent features that need to be a part of any electronics devices is the system. Read More...

Two-string HB automotive LED driver provides 10000:1 dimming ratio

For use in automotive display backlights, automotive lighting applications and LCD backlights, Maxim has posted detail of the MAX16838B which it says is the only-available 2-String HB LED driver providing 10000:1 dimming ratio. Read More...

Triple LED controllers for rear lights

The IC family E522.80/81/82/83 from Elmos AG is an LED controller device, designed for applications like automotive rear lights. The devices offer three channels each, with a maximum current of 140 mA. Read More...

Tact switch combines resilience, excellent operating feel

In response to the strict robustness and resilience requirements in the automotive industry, component manufacturer, ALPS Electric has developed and commenced mass production of the SKTH Series TACT Switch. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014

Of the many thousands of products announced during the past year, these are 100 that especially caught the attention of our editors and our readers. Read More...

Auto-grade photovoltaic MOSFET driver debuts at Electronica

Avago launches a photovoltaic MOSFET driver qualified to AEC-Q100 Grade 1 test guidelines, making it the first such device usable in "under-the-hood" high-temperature automotive applications. Read More...

CogniVue, Fraunhofer debut supersmall camera at Electronica

Fraunhofer's driver-assist microcamera, exhibited at Electronica in Munich, uses CogniVue's image processing technology and a Freescale Semiconductor image cognition processor based on CogniVue's IP. Read More...

Freescale brings the Internet of Things to a safer vehicle

Two recent announcements by Freescale ensure the reality of an IoT car and a safer vehicle through tire-pressure sensing. Read More...

TI DRA75x processors blur the line between infotainment and informational ADAS

“Jacinto 6 Ex” improves performance and integration with the use of two embedded vision engines (EVEs) to deliver simultaneous informational ADAS and infotainment functionalities without compromise to either system. Read More...

TI drives ADAS into entry and mid-level cars

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) have been, to date, offered in high-end luxury cars where the vehicle’s price tag warrants the added expense. Read More...

Linear Technology 2A buck converter is 93% efficient at 2MHz

With many switching buck regulators on the market today that are capable of improving an automotive system design it is hard to choose the optimum one for your design. Read More...

Software turns oscilloscope to motor-drive measurements

Teledyne LeCroy's HDO8000 12-bit oscilloscope now has software specifically for measuring power and efficiency on three-phase motor drives, variable-frequency drives, and the electronics that power them. Read More...

MAX10 broadens the FPGA field

Altera's MAX series has graduated from CPLD to FPGA, and sports some unique features. Read More...

500 MHz Oscilloscope for $5000 and a touch screen, too

Teledyne LeCroy's WaveJet Touch brings touch screens to a basic oscilloscope. Read More...

IR sensor array sees a wider field of view, with low-noise imaging

Low-cost infra-red (IR) arrays provide precise imaging data and detailed heat signatures for both static and dynamic objects can be derived, and find applications in security, automotive, building automation and consumer electronics. Read More...

Programmable wireless charging ICs & ref designs target consumer, automotive

Freescale claims that in contrast to some competing products that restrict customisation, its new offerings allow design innovation and enable the rapid development of differentiated wireless charging systems. Read More...

Multiband automotive tuner ICs deliver best-in-class radio performance

The Si4790x automotive receiver family scales from economical, single-tuner designs to premium, multi-tuner car radio systems. Read More...

Driver chip provides 7-channel drop-in Darlington replacement

This 7-channel, NMOS low-side driver replaces Darlington transistor arrays in high-voltage systems; the drop-in compatible relay driver reduces power, cost and board space. Read More...

Ultracap boasts 3400 farads, boosts transportation reliability

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. has added to the company's K2 series of ultracapacitor cells with a 2.85-volt, 3400-farad ultracapacitor cell that increases the range of available specific power and stored energy in the industry-standard 60 mm cylindrical 'K2' form factor. Read More...

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Teardown: Heads-up thermal imaging camera

Wow, thermal imaging in the car. Read More...

Teardown: Airbag controller

Check out this airbag controller teardown, courtesy of Dave Jones from the EEVblog. Read More...

Teardown: OBD-II Bluetooth adapter

Peer inside an unbelievably low-cost OBD-II to Bluetooth "dongle." Read More...

Teardown: High-voltage Li-ion battery stack management - the drive for safe power

At the heart of the Chevrolet Volt, a sophisticated Li-ion battery stack management system ensures the safety and reliability of a multi-cell Li-ion battery stack capable of delivering power on demand to the Chevy Volt drive system. Read More...

Teardown reveals Chevy Volt's electronic secrets

Beyond battery chemistry and electric propulsion and control, the Chevy Volt enhanced-range electric vehicle builds in flexibility, ruggedness, and diagnostics—with attention to quality construction. Read More...

Bulldog Security RS82B remote-vehicle-starter system

Microprocessor-controlled relays let you start your car 100 yards away. Read More...

The Tesla Roadster: Sporty and electric

Prying Eyes: A modern electric sports car presents a unique design challenge. Read More...

The 24V, 300W, BLDC Kollmorgen motor integrated controller

A motor mixes mechanical and electrical beauty with questionable thermal design. Read More...

Under the hood of hybrid vehicles

Energy- and emission-efficient automobiles are increasingly relying on both combustion engines and electric motors for power. Read More...

Hybrids mark the end of the stinky city bus

Prying Eyes looks inside a hybrid gas-electric bus powered by 288 ultracapacitors. Read More...

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Reverse bias techniques for high-end automotive microcontrollers & low leakage

A reverse-bias technique to reduce leakage, especially at high temperature (e.g., automotive). Read More...

Parallel Operation Minimizes Temperature Rise in Synchronous 4-Switch Buck-Boost Converters

A single synchronous buck-boost DC/DC converter can deliver high power due to its synchronous switching topology, but eventually the switching and/or conduction losses at higher power can overwhelm a single converter with excessive board heating. Although heat can be mitigated with bulked up heat sinks, additional external gate drivers, and/or forced airflow, it may be better to simply tie together two or more converters in parallel to spread the load. This is easy to do with the LT3790 4-switch synchronous buck-boost DC/DC converter. Read More...

Reducing cost & complexity of LCD LED backlights with single-IC, single-inductor multi-string LED driver architectures

In his fourth installment we'll look a single-IC, single-inductor multi-string LED driver architectures which provide great savings in both solution cost and PCB real estate. For this tutorial, we'll use the LT3598 which can drive up to six strings of ten LEDs at up to 30mA per string and a built-in power switch. Read More...

Security architecture for automotive microcontroller flash memory

Read about various ways flash memory can be secured against malicious or accidental modification. Read More...

How soft errors damage vital information

Here is how soft errors occur and how they can cause damage to critical data stored in semiconductor memories. The article covers the sources and the likelihood of their occurrence and explains how they impact individual memory cells, causing them to change state Read More...

7 data-acquisition systems attach directly to sensors

When assembling a data-acquisition system, be sure to compare these systems that require no external signal conditioning. Sensors connect directly to the systems. Read More...

Powering LED Lighting & Other Illumination Devices - Part 1

This first installment of a multi-part series on design issues in LED lighting presents several solutions to the challenges of driving the series strings of HBLEDs frequently used in DLP projectors, stage lighting, automotive lighting and other applications traditionally served by high intensity bulbs. It includes several practical examples based on the LT3763, a 60V synchronous, step-down DC/DC controller designed to accurately regulate LED current at up to 20A with fast PWM dimming. Read More...

Adaptive headlights solve fixed-beam challenges

Headlight controls are often limited by a fixed beam direction that can only be switched between high beam and low beam. This makes it difficult to drive when there are multiple turns on the road or when the slope of the road changes. Here’s a low cost and adaptive solution. Read More...

A simple method for determining the optimal operating point of an LED

Field applications engineer Donald Schelle shares a simple method for optimizing the performance of LEDs. He shows how to use the information on an LED's data sheet to perform the necessary trade-offs to produce the best mix of cost, efficacy, and weight for your particular LED application. Read More...

An insider's guide to designing near-eye displays

Carlos Lopez and Dan Morgan from Texas Instruments' DLP Pico Products group take an in-depth look at some of the top challenges for designing a compelling see-through near eye display solution that “seamlessly” blends the digital world with the physical world. Read More...

Low EMI automotive power designs

As automobiles continue to add an ever increasing number of electronic systems to enhance safety, comfort, efficiency and performance while minimizing harmful exhaust emissions, it comes as no surprise that they require physically smaller power solutions with dramatically higher power levels. Read More...

Design capacitive touch sensors in five easy steps—Part IV

. In Part 4, we will finish Steps 4 and 5 – validation and mass production – of designing capacitive sensing systems with MBR devices. Read More...

Designing Capacitive Touch Sensors in Five Easy Steps--Part III

In Part 3, we look at more example applications and how MBR devices can be configured to enable the specialized features that these applications require. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

ARM TechCon opens call for proposals

Proposals now being accepted for ARM TechCon 2015, which will take place November 10-12, 2015 Read More...

Engineering school never taught you this

In his presentation at the upcoming ESC Boston, Dave Nadler will show how failures can help point the way to success. Read More...

Tesla disrupts the auto infotainment game

A $69,900 plus price tag is a lot to pay for a car, but Tesla tries to give a lot in return. Read More...

LEDs battle ebola and climate change while boosting the economy

This week's Semi-Coherent Emissions top story: The LED lighting industry's performance provides compelling evidence that strong economic growth and high environmental quality aren't mutually-exclusive. Read More...

The NXP-Freescale merger—A $4 billion giant

The NXP/Freescale merger will create a giant expected to hog the road and market share for automotive systems. Read More...

Toyota fined for accelerator pedal sticking, April 5, 2010

On this day in tech history, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a $16.375 million fine on Toyota for failure to notify the government in a timely manner about what was found to be mechanical problems with its accelerator pedals. Read More...

10 tips for commenting C code

Commenting your code can be a chore but it can pay off handsomely. Here are some tips on how to make commenting C easier and more effective. Read More...

Can you use supercaps to power electric vehicles?

The high energy density of supercapacitors makes them seem like a good fit for EVs compared to batteries, and one such suggestion was awarded an honorable mention—but is it really technically viable, or even a good idea? Read More...

Self-driving cars? Puhleeeze…

I love the idea of self-driving cars, but how can we trust the automakers to engineer them well enough? Read More...

An AI apocalypse? Really?

For some AI spells doom and gloom. It's all hype masking a real consideration. Read More...

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