Tutorial M3

M3: Fault Tolerant Smart Power Drivers with Biasing Schemes and Diagnostics for Smart Automotive Systems

Sri Navaneeth Easwaran, Texas Instruments
Samir Camdzic, Texas Instruments
Robert Weigel, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Abstract: The electronic content is increasing in automotive applications replacing earlier mechanical and hydraulics solutions. However proper protection and diagnostic circuits are required to ensure that electronic components perform the expected function and achieve ultimate fail silent (fault tolerant) operation. Majority of automotive electronic control units use power transistors which operate at high currents and at high voltage levels, and are exposed to several automotive fault conditions. Such fail silent transistors in combination with their drivers are referred to as the Smart Power Drivers. The automotive circuits are not much different from the conventional analog circuits used in consumer electronics. However there are several additional system requirements and design implementation challenges that have to be considered when defining and implementing automotive safety circuits. This tutorial provides test cases from fault tolerant high voltage, high current airbag squib driver ICs. Introduces the specifications of smart power drivers, the fault conditions that have to be considered, design implementation challenges and how simple design techniques can be applied to design several safe circuits.


Sri Navaneeth Easwaran

He was born in Erode, India on October 19, 1977. After finishing his Higher Secondary school, he received his Bachelor of Engineering, B.E. Degree (cum laude) in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Shanmugha College of Engineering (affliated to Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli, India), Thanjavur, India in 1998. He worked at SPIC Electronics, Chennai and STMicroelectronics, Noida, India between 1998 and 2000. From 2000 he worked for Philips Semiconductors at Bengaluru India, Zurich Switzerland and Nijmegen, The Netherlands where he designed analog circuits for Mobile Baseband and Power Management Units. While working at Philips Semiconductors, he also received the International M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Twente, Enschede (Prof. Dr.ir. Bram Nauta’s ICD group), The Netherlands on the design of NMOS LDOs.
From 2006 he started his work at Texas Instruments GmbH Freising, Germany and he joined the Technische Elektronik group at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in January 2010 as an external Ph.D student under the supervision of Prof. Dr. –Ing. Dr. -Ing. habil. Robert Weigel. His research focused on the fault tolerant design of smart power drivers and diagnostic circuits. He received his Dr.-Ing degree from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in May, 2017.
Since September 2010 he is with Texas Instruments Inc, Dallas, Texas USA where he has the design lead for several airbag squib driver ICs. He has also designed analog high voltage, negative voltage tolerant circuits for automotive power steering and braking ICs. He was elected as the Senior Member of IEEE in 2011, Member Group Technical Staff at Texas Instruments in 2014. He has more than 15 patents (US and German) in the field of Analog Mixed Signal IC Design and has 6 IEEE and conference publications.

Samir Camdzic

He joined Texas Instruments in 1996 as a design engineer. He has worked on squib drivers, electrical power steering, remote and tire pressure sensor ICs for automotive applications, as well as variety of consumer ICs for streaming audio applications, USB / IEEE1394 / short distance wireless peripheral interfaces with embedded controllers. Currently working as a systems engineer responsible for definition of integrated safety power ICs for automotive safety applications.
Before joining Texas Instruments he was with IBM as a design team member of Advanced Space Application group developing satellite on-board computer system payloads. He is a system engineer lead for automotive radar safety power IC and TI Member Group of Technical Staff.

Robert Weigel

He was born in Ebermannstadt, Germany, in 1956. He received the Dr.-Ing. and the Dr.-Ing.habil. degrees, both in electrical engineering and computer science, from the Munich University of Technology in Germany where he respectively was a Research Engineer, a Senior Research Engineer, and a Professor for RF Circuits and Systems until 1996. During 1994 to 1995 he was a Guest Professor for SAW Technology at Vienna University of Technology in Austria. From 1996 to 2002, he has been Director of the Institute for Communications and Information Engineering at the University of Linz, Austria where, in August 1999, he co-founded the company DICE, meanwhile split into an Infineon Technologies (DICE) and an Intel (DMCE) company which are devoted to the design of RFICs for mobile radio and MMICs for vehicular radar applications. In 2000, he has been appointed a Professor for RF Engineering at the Tongji University in Shanghai, China. Since 2002 he is Head of the Institute for Electronics Engineering at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. There, respectively in 2009, in 2012, and in 2015 he co-founded the companies eesy-id, eesy-ic and eesy-innovation.
Dr. Weigel has been engaged in research and development of microwave theory and techniques, electronic circuits and systems, and communication and sensing systems. In these fields, he has published more than 900 papers. He received the 2002 VDE ITG-Award, the 2007 IEEE Microwave Applications Award and the 2016 IEEE MTT-S Distinguished Educator Award.
Dr. Weigel is a Fellow of the IEEE, an Elected Member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), and an Elected Member of the Senate of the German Research Foundation (DFG). He is and has been serving on numerous advisory boards of government bodies, research institutes and companies in Europe and Asia. Furthermore, he is and has been serving on various editorial boards such as that of the Proceedings of the IEEE. He also has been founding editor of the Proceedings of the European Microwave Association (EuMA) which in 2008 where transformed into EuMA’s International Journal of Microwave and Wireless Technologies. He has been member of numerous conference steering and technical program committees. He was General Chair of several conferences such as the 2013 European Microwave Week in Nuremberg, Germany and Technical Program Chair of several conferences such as the 2002 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium in Munich, Germany. He served in many roles for the IEEE MTT and UFFC Societies. He has been Founding Chair of the Austrian COM/MTT Joint Chapter, Region 8 MTT-S Coordinator, Distinguished Microwave Lecturer, MTT-S AdCom Member, and the 2014 MTT-S President.