Automotive microcontroller users continually request devices with enhanced functionality and performance to integrate more features and to help meet increased government regulations. The use of standard (off-the-shelf) products to provide single-chip solutions to satisfy these requirements is quickly becoming more costly as integration requirements out pace process density improvements. However, multi-chip system solutions introduce concerns such as electromagnetic interference, more complex system validation, and printed circuit board (PCB) and component costs. Consequently, there is a need to take advantage of new technologies to partition system function while considering various constraints.
To facilitate identifying current system partitioning trends and constraints, this paper examines five aspects of the microcontroller environment: CPU, memory, peripherals, networking and manufacturability.