Renesas has developed hardware fault detection and prediction technologies for functional safety in automotive computing systems. The company has also successfully developed a prototype of an automotive computing system-on-chip (SoC) fabricated in a 16nm FinFET process supporting the ISO 26262 ASIL B standard for automotive functional safety.
The ISO 26262 “Road vehicles – Functional safety” standard defines the entire safety life cycle for electronics and/or software in safety-related systems in vehicles weighing less than 3500 kg. Included in this are specific recommendations for the mitigation of random hardware faults, including diagnostics and/or the specific implementation of hardware safety systems.
SoCs for automotive computing systems have complex functions to process large amount of data sent to them from cameras and other sensors at high speeds and in short time periods. Apart from that, they are also required to have safety mechanisms. This is because the automotive computing system used in an autonomous vehicle must either stop the vehicle safely or continue driving safely when an internal fault occurs during driving.
There are several approaches to hardware fault detection, such as logic duplication and self-testing. The complexity of the functions and the high operating frequencies make it difficult to have duplicated logics for the overall functionality. Furthermore, to perform high-reliability self-testing, it would be necessary to shut down functions required for self-driving and other operations for extended periods.
Renesas has developed hardware fault detection technology based on a state-of-the-art self-testing mechanism to resolve these issues. This technology makes it possible, even in SoCs used in self-driving systems, to meet the criteria such as diagnostic coverage, which is expected to be required for the ISO 26262 ASIL B standard for functional safety.
In addition, Renesas has developed a system to predict and suppress the momentary voltage droops caused by hardware faults, and to prevent these faults from occurring.
Renesas announced this technology on February 1 at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) held in San Francisco from January 31 to February 4, 2016. The demonstration, which showcased a board mounted with an SoC that implemented these technologies, showed the utility of these results by demonstrating continuous graphics display using both CPU and GPU operations while operating both the run-time self-test systems and systems for predicting hardware faults due to voltage droops.