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The Application of RISC-V Extensions to Automotive Zonal Controllers – Marc Canel

By January 16, 2024January 17th, 2024No Comments

As the complexity of electronics in vehicles increases, there has been a move to combine the workloads of several ECUs into one, more powerful ‘Domain controller’. One undesired effect of this design is that the amount and complexity of wiring increases, adding cost and weight, and introducing potential reliability issues. This can be addressed by combining functionality based on location rather than type in a Zonal system architecture. This architecture is based on Zonal Control Units (ZCUs) which drives the development of multi-core embedded and mixed criticality systems. However, it poses challenges including integration at both the Hardware and Software level of functionality from multiple different control units. This paper will look at the how the RISC-V ISA, including the Hypervisor, PMP and SPMP extensions help to address these issues, and facilitate RISC-V adoption in driving tomorrow’s mobility. We will compare with other approaches to achieve the required isolation, providing guidance for system designers.

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