As the new generation of RISC powertrain MCUs propagate through the automotive development cycle, there will likely be more difficulty in debugging the ECU reliably and efficiently. Simply stated, there is less support for the development process in the new high-performance single-chip RISC MCUs, which could create critical and costly delays in the development cycle. Additionally, as powertrain MCUs continue to evolve, superscalar or multiple-issue RISC implementations may be used as the central processor. With the capability to issue multiple instructions in one clock cycle, this will only magnify the development support problem. Thus it is essential to address this impending problem with a strategy that both automotive and tools developers can agree. A strategy for development standards is presented in this paper, and a new powertrain MCU development interface standard is proposed.