Tata Elxsi-Renesas MCU for EVs drives speedier time to market | Autocar Professional

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Two years after Tata Elxsi, a global leader in design and technology services, and Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced their collaboration on a state-of-the-art design centre in Bangalore that will develop targeted solutions for electric vehicles (EVs), they have reported advances in the development of a Motor Controller Unit (MCU).

For the rapidly evolving EV industry, the need for an efficient Motor Controller ECU (Electronic Control Unit) is paramount to ensure enhanced safety, reliability, and performance. The two companies’ collaborative effort under the Next Generation EV Innovation Center (NEVIC), which opened in Bengaluru in January 2022, has helped develop a versatile MCU for EVs designed to accommodate a broad spectrum of motors and position sensors.

Vehicle manufacturers continue to be challenged to meet the surging demand for EVs, which has put significant pressure on them to expedite their product development and launch. ​The intricacy of incorporating advanced motor control algorithms, optimizing performance, and ensuring compatibility with diverse position sensor types, throttle, and brake modules available in the market poses a challenge.​

Furthermore, there is additional complexity added by the laborious and complex procedure of motor testing with position sensor and phase-wire sequence, angle offset, and calibration for various throttle and brake modules.​

Versatile MCU
The Tata Elxsi-Renesas jointly developed MCU on the RH850C1M controller platform embodies all the essential features for the motor control, safety and performance.​

The solution features a built-in motor control strategy along with multiple driving modes, torque and speed control, cruise control, flux weakening, thermal derating, and comprehensive fault detection and fault handling capabilities, ensuring compliance with safety and performance requirements. ​

Furthermore, according to the two companies, a high degree of flexibility is offered with adjustable pulse width modulations, automatic throttle, brake and angle offset calibration, and a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the system configuration.​

The modular and scalable design, as per the two companies, has enabled seamless integration across diverse EV applications, including two- and three-wheelers, four-wheelers and above.

This comprehensive solution serves as a one-stop shop for Motor Control Unit (MCU) in embedded hardware, software, testing, and validation requirements, ensuring seamless development and integration and hence less time to the market.​

Supporting multiple motors and sensors, it offers versatility and adaptability to diverse electric vehicle applications. Furthermore, its inclusion of diagnostic and protection features enhances the overall reliability and safety of any traction application, setting new benchmarks for performance and dependability.​

By ensuring efficient battery voltage usage, minimising motor harmonics, torque ripple, and enabling the motor to operate above its rated speed, EV OEMs can significantly extend the vehicle’s driving range, amplifying its impact and efficiency on the road.

As of now, significant progress has been made on the development, testing, and validation of all essential features of the MCU, which have been successfully implemented on the first version of the Motor Control Unit hardware for EVs. Notably, the microcontroller is functional safety capable, simplifying the achievement of required ASIL levels for different EV application requirements.​

Additionally, the system boasts effortless configuration for any motor types and position sensors, while its scalable architecture ensures adaptability across diverse vehicle segments.

Lead image: Tata Elxsi

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