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Infineon Debuts MCU for Automotive Battery Management

May 18, 2024 by Aaron Carman

The MCU is a highly integrated embedded system that monitors and manages automotive 12 V lead-acid batteries.

Infineon has released a highly integrated, high voltage-tolerant MCU to simplify and improve automotive battery management capabilities. Battery health and management are critical to the longevity and overall operation of electric and software-defined vehicles.

Compared to previous generations, the Infineon MCUs improve several features and offer a higher voltage tolerance in a single package, simplifying development and reducing the number of components and required board space. 

 

Infineon MCU

Infineon’s newest automotive MCU simplifies battery management with lead-acid batteries, including improved voltage tolerance and a high-precision analog front end.
 

MCU Packs High-Voltage Subsystems

A vehicle’s battery management systems are critical to correct operation, with many vehicles shifting from domain-based to zonal-based automotive architectures. Conversely, bulky, high-performance battery management systems are counterproductive to squeezing more sensors and processors into modern vehicles.

To balance this tradeoff, Infineon’s latest MCU family, the PSoC 4 High Voltage Precision Analog (HVPA)-144 K, densely integrates high-voltage features while precisely monitoring battery health.

 

The analog front end

The analog front end includes hardware to connect directly to 12-V signals. 
 

Within the chip is an embedded high-voltage LDO to convert the 12 V power from a lead-acid battery and remove the need for an external power converter. In addition, the device includes dual ΣΔ ADCs with up to 20 bits of precision and automatic programmable gain amplifiers with up to four digital-filtering channels. This allows designers to measure key battery metrics such as state of charge and state of health with up to 0.1% accuracy.

 

Backed by Processing Hardware and Software

In terms of processing, the PSoC4 HVPA-144K includes an Arm Cortex-M0+ CPU with a clock speed of up to 48 MHz and a DMA controller. This is supported by up to 144 KB of code flash, 8 KB of data Flash, and 8 KB of SRAM. Four timers are also included, alongside a serial communication block that can be configured as an I2C, UART, or SPI. An integrated LIN transceiver is also included, improving communication between vehicle subsystems. The MCU is available in a QFN-32 package.

 

The example application schematic

The example application schematic highlights the ease of deployment of the MCU, removing the need for external voltage regulators and bringing more functionality on-chip. 
 

Infineon offers software to complement the PSoC 4 HVPA-144K, allowing designers to get up and running quickly while still considering functional safety. Using the PSoC Creator software, along with accompanying Peripheral Driver Libraries (PDLs) and Infineon’s Functional Safety Library (SafeTLib), designers can quickly deploy solutions using the new MCU family.

The PSoC4 HVPA-144K is available now, along with an evaluation board.

 

Looking Ahead to More Automotive Systems

Despite the fact that the HVPA-144K was only recently announced, Infineon is already looking forward to its next innovation in the automotive BMS space. Li-ion controllers tolerant of over 400 V are on Infineon’s radar, along with a more diverse offering of low-voltage (12V/48V) solutions. 

 

All images used courtesy of Infineon