While the level of electronics intelligence within the automobile has grown more sophisticated and generated an avalanche of data, what hasn’t changed is the ability of the automobile’s electronics system to filter and prioritize that data. The large majority of these new systems are designed to place sensor data into a standard memory device. Usually these systems use a linear first-in, first-out (FIFO), which offers no prioritization capability, or a Content Addressable Memory (CAM), which requires a search for data patterns.

Yet the information coming from the brake system and the climate control system, for example are not of the same importance. Shouldn?t the system place a higher priority on information from one sensor indicating a brake fluid leak than another indicating the need to turn up the air conditioning?

By addressing these challenges and optimizing the collection and prioritization of this data, automobile designers can dramatically accelerate response time and, in the process, improve safety. This paper will review some of the recent advances in the design of data flow control semiconductors and discuss how these new technologies can help automotive electronics system designers create lower cost, higher performance Priority of Service (POS) systems.