During the eighties, the typical usage of a microcontroller in a car was for powertrain control. Following this, faster and faster microcontrollers found their way into various areas of vehicle design, and increasingly complex requirements led to increasingly powerful CPUs and peripherals. Today, microcontrollers are used in a vast range of applications, including body control, safety, audio, and navigation.

This article discusses the wide variety of such uses that ARM Processor-based microcontrollers serve in various automotive connectivity applications and in protocols such as CAN, Flexray, Ethernet, and USB.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 6, No. 2, 2007