Laboratory Opens for E-Mobility

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High voltage and E-mobility laboratory supports automotive industry electronics technical developments

Auto Electronics specialist has opened a new high voltage and E-mobility lab at Detroit Automotive Technology Centre

The automotive industry is evolving at a rapid pace, with E-Mobility and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) driving the market’s need for innovative new products. To service this requirement, embedded control system specialist, Microchip Technology has expanded its Detroit Automotive Technology Centre in Novi, Michigan. Now, the 24,000-square-foot facility enables automotive clients to explore new technologies and to meet with technical experts to get support for their end applications and designs.

A resident of Detroit since 1999, Microchip recently completed phase three of its expansion project, as part of which it more than doubled its lab space, including the addition of new labs that focus on high-voltage and E-Mobility applications. This larger facility will also bring more technology-related jobs to the region.

According to Rich Simoncic, executive vice president of Microchip the expansion provides customers and partners with immediate access to state-of-the-art resources that complement other automotive technology centres it runs in Munich, Shanghai, Tokyo and Austin, Texas.

Microchip says that the centre provides a destination for the automotive industry to go for the development, test and refining of applications in the design phase.

“Our vision for the centre is to provide our automotive customers with the confidence to choose the right solutions for their designs by helping them to cut design effort and time to market by providing world class technical support in Michigan,” says Matthias Kaestner, corporate vice president of Microchip’s automotive business.

Key capabilities

The laboratory in Novi is home to a dedicated high-voltage lab for demonstrations of reference designs featuring Microchip’s silicon carbide mSiC products, dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) and a wide range of analogue and mixed-signal systems.

The site also provides support for central computing and zonal networks for ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist Systems) platforms using Microchip’s PCIe Gen 4 and Gen 5 switching hardware, single-pair Ethernet devices and development tools

A Human Machine Interface (HMI) lab is available at the facility to support the development of full-width cockpit displays, touchscreens, Knob-on-Display (KoD) systems as well as more traditional buttons, sliders and wheels, all of which can be supported using in-house EMC testing facilities.

USB and networking development resources are available for pre-certification of multimedia infotainment systems and media hubs for advanced USB Type-C 3.2 protocol applications and both die- and product-level characterisation of automotive MEMS resonators and oscillators is supported, including vacuum and wafer-scale probe and test, long-term ageing, frequency stability, phase noise and jitter test capabilities.

The company has also moved into the development of automotive security systems using Microchip’s CryptoAutomotive TrustAnchor ICs. It offers onsite security training to learn how to implement secure elements in applications such as secure boot, message and hardware authentication, for example.

“The new high-voltage lab will help our automotive customers develop systems using our reference design platforms and analogue, digital control and power systems,” says Clayton Pillion, vice president of Microchip’s silicon carbide business unit. “As more OEMs transition to our E-Mobility offerings, we are ready to support them from the design phase to implementation.”

Its automotive-qualified product portfolio includes microcontrollers, DSCs, USB and networking systems, analogue and interface products, SiC MOSFETs and serial EEPROMs.

Microchip also has a broad range of ISO 26262 functional safety ready and functional safety compliant devices that offer the latest hardware safety features and are supported by a comprehensive safety approach to simplify the design and certification of safety-critical automotive applications.

Jonathan Newell
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