X-Gen
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Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:32 pm

I was wondering if car manufacturers going through this chip shortage, could use an rp 2040 cpu in their cars instead?

Not sure if the chip is powerful enough to replace a car ECU chip, or other automated functions (they could use multiple per vehicle, considering the low cost of the chip)?

I'm fairly sure it's not going to cut it for the entertainment system, as that needs at least a dual core 1Ghz cpu.

I do know that a ~133Mhz x86 cpu is the absolute minimum for playing back an mp3 file.

trejan
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:49 pm

X-Gen wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:32 pm
I was wondering if car manufacturers going through this chip shortage, could use an rp 2040 cpu in their cars instead?
Not for any major component. Changing SoC family/manufacturer is very expensive and time consuming. It is even worse for automotive where things need to be thoroughly tested and validated.
X-Gen wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:32 pm
Not sure if the chip is powerful enough to replace a car ECU chip
Not for anything new. Modern ECUs use automotive SoCs like Infineon TriCore. RP2040 is nowhere near enough. The lack of high speed CAN interfaces is already a dealbreaker.
X-Gen wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:32 pm
I do know that a ~133Mhz x86 cpu is the absolute minimum for playing back an mp3 file.
Only listing MHz is meaningless without also stating the CPU generation. You can play MP3s with far less than 100MHz.

ejolson
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:11 am

trejan wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:49 pm
X-Gen wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:32 pm
I was wondering if car manufacturers going through this chip shortage, could use an rp 2040 cpu in their cars instead?
Not for any major component. Changing SoC family/manufacturer is very expensive and time consuming. It is even worse for automotive where things need to be thoroughly tested and validated.
X-Gen wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:32 pm
Not sure if the chip is powerful enough to replace a car ECU chip
Not for anything new. Modern ECUs use automotive SoCs like Infineon TriCore. RP2040 is nowhere near enough. The lack of high speed CAN interfaces is already a dealbreaker.
X-Gen wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:32 pm
I do know that a ~133Mhz x86 cpu is the absolute minimum for playing back an mp3 file.
Only listing MHz is meaningless without also stating the CPU generation. You can play MP3s with far less than 100MHz.
I'm pretty sure it was possible to play mp3 files with a 66 MHz 486DX2 provided the correct software was used.

Having had to replace an engine computer last year because the old one overheated and stopped working, I'd prefer if they just made cars that don't need such things in the first place. Such vehicles would also be more likely to survive a radio flash if it ever came to that.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:20 am

ejolson wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:11 am
Having had to replace an engine computer last year because the old one overheated and stopped working, I'd prefer if they just made cars that don't need such things in the first place. Such vehicles would also be more likely to survive a radio flash if it ever came to that.
Nice wish...but not going to happen. The ECU is part of how a modern engine meets emission standards. That said...my father once helped someone build an electronic ignition system for his car...using vacuum tubes.

Heater
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:38 am

I keep reading of old school car manufacturers halting production of this and that car because of a chip shortages.

At the same time I read of Tesla ramping up it's car production like crazy and building "giga" factories all over the place, China, Germany, USA, even Britain has been looked at, so that they can build more. Tesla's are stuffed full of chips.

What is that about?

I'd be happy to have a ECU in my car if the motor motor were electric.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

trejan
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:01 am

Heater wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:38 am
At the same time I read of Tesla ramping up it's car production like crazy and building "giga" factories all over the place, China, Germany, USA, even Britain has been looked at, so that they can build more. Tesla's are stuffed full of chips.
Tesla have had shortages but they threw money and people at this problem. They've been designing the entire ECU from the SoC itself upwards for several years now. It allows them much more flexibility to deal with component shortages as they can change parts and rework the rest of the system to suit. Not so easy to do that if the ECU is a module you buy from somebody else that you then integrate into your car design.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:13 am

Heater wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:38 am
I keep reading of old school car manufacturers halting production of this and that car because of a chip shortages.
They mostly did it to themselves by cancelling chip orders when sales dropped in early 2020 and then finding themselves at the back of the high-demand queue when sales started back up again in late 2020.

The thing I'd like to see would standardization in the hardware. There is no need for each and every make and model to have a different--physical--MCU. It's so bad that at least one manufacturer has different part numbers depending on whether the vehicle has a standard transmission or an automatic, despite the hardware connections being identical.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:28 am

They've been designing the entire ECU from the SoC itself upwards for several years now.
Been wondering if they use their car stuff in their SpaceX things.

Tesla is becoming a serious firmware company, nearly making everything.
Will they get into their own Fab?
They would have to be thinking about that by now.

Anyone got code for 3D printing bicycles and steam engines, just in case.
RP2040 could control the printers.
Hmm, steam powered tricycle?
Wonder how far you can get with stored solar in hot oil?
Nice THUD burner to make biochar and heat the oil.

If they don't get these chip shortages sorted out, someone will make alternatives or learn how to do without.
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Gavinmc42
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:54 am

Interesting, according a QNX whitepaper, 40% of a cars value is in the electronics.
So cars will only cost 60% if all that stuff is removed?

QNX say Hypervisors are part of the solution.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

Heater
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:34 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:54 am
Interesting, according a QNX whitepaper, 40% of a cars value is in the electronics.
So cars will only cost 60% if all that stuff is removed?

QNX say Hypervisors are part of the solution.
They might be bending the meaning of "value" there. As opposed to price.

People like cars with a good gas milage, low emissions, anti-lock brakes, automatic transmission, infotainment system, etc, etc, etc. All that electronically based stuff they value may not actually cost the manufacturer 40% of the sale price to add.

I don't know really.

Anyway, plenty of people have converted old, electronics free, beetles, 2CVs and other things to electric with for only a few thousand dollars. Which seems to indicate that much cheaper EVs are possible.

Unfortunately the UK seems to be running out of the capacity to generate electricity just now....
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

ejolson
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:23 am

Heater wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:34 am
Unfortunately the UK seems to be running out of the capacity to generate electricity just now....
Welcome to the club. In the States there is also a national coin shortage so it's difficult to buy anything with cash when the power goes out. It's amazing how quickly things can go wrong. Fortunately, it does not take much electricity to run a RP2040.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:08 am

Anyway, plenty of people have converted old, electronics free, beetles, 2CVs and other things to electric with for only a few thousand dollars. Which seems to indicate that much cheaper EVs are possible.
Just use a Smart phone for the electronics or a Pi or Pico and old 12V TV.
With WFH why commute in a box filled with electronics that won't save the planet due to the embedded energy?
Somehow I think even an electric car with 100+ microcontrollers is stretching the word "sustainable" a bit too much.
Throw in the "right to repair" and things get messy.

What is a modern CV2?
Electric motor, small battery pack and multifuel turbine for charging?
I get more Amish as things keep going downhill.
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Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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Burngate
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:35 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:13 am
The thing I'd like to see would standardization in the hardware. There is no need for each and every make and model to have a different--physical--MCU. It's so bad that at least one manufacturer has different part numbers depending on whether the vehicle has a standard transmission or an automatic, despite the hardware connections being identical.
My neighbour (who has a company that services cars, and who does mine along with several others in the village) tells me my 12-yr-old Volvo has the same works as his Mondeo. It costs too much to design a new engine, cheaper to buy in someone else's, so the differences between most cars nowadays comes down to colour of leather, and what satnav gets put in.
ejolson wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:23 am
In the States there is also a national coin shortage so it's difficult to buy anything with cash when the power goes out. It's amazing how quickly things can go wrong. Fortunately, it does not take much electricity to run a RP2040.
At the start of the pandemic people panic-bought loo rolls, so the stores ran out.
Now we're being told "Don't worry, the lights won't go out this winter" so I'm buying my candles today, before everyone else panic-buys and the stores run out of candles.

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B.Goode
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:54 am

X-Gen wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:32 pm
I was wondering if car manufacturers going through this chip shortage, could use an rp 2040 cpu in their cars instead?



Possibly not.

Have you actually checked whether it is possible to purchase RP2040 chips in industrial quantities at the moment?


I haven't seen any certificate to indicate that the RP2040 has been given immunity from the current global chip production/distribution squeeze.


If you can't get the hardware it seems fruitless to speculate about whether you can base a product on it.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:17 pm

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:08 am
Just use a Smart phone for the electronics or a Pi or Pico and old 12V TV.
Take a look at the Z-Edge Ultra (15.6" 1920x1080). Runs off 5v, needs less power than a Pi4B.

(I have no connection to the company, save being a satisfied customer with an Ultra 1.)

X-Gen
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:15 pm

I've always found that cars should have some usb phone connector, that charges the phone, and runs a car app.
So most stuff can be steered from the cell phone that's registered to the car, and some secondary electronic functions (like climate controls, entertainment system, speed of windshield wipers, traction control settings, lane assist, and most other car settings, go through the phone).
With only primary controls like ECU, ABS, going through the car's native chip.

That way, much of the electronic components can be avoided, and the chip shortage would be a lot less severe.

X-Gen
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:19 pm

trejan wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:49 pm
X-Gen wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:32 pm
.....The lack of high speed CAN interfaces is already a dealbreaker.....
I thought the 2040 has a USB 1.1 interface?
Should be more than fast enough?

trejan
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:37 pm

X-Gen wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:19 pm
I thought the 2040 has a USB 1.1 interface?
Should be more than fast enough?
Throughput is fine but attaching multiple USB to CAN interfaces will mean variable latency, complication and overhead from USB stack. It isn't just 1 CAN bus in your car. Modern cars have multiple different buses now with safety critical systems going on its own one. There are so many microcontrollers now with multiple built-in CAN bus interfaces that nobody is going to seriously entertain this as an option. If it is a safety critical system then you're going to be using something like Cortex-R not Cortex-M0.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:49 pm

X-Gen wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:15 pm
I've always found that cars should have some usb phone connector, that charges the phone, and runs a car app.
So most stuff can be steered from the cell phone that's registered to the car, and some secondary electronic functions (like climate controls, entertainment system, speed of windshield wipers, traction control settings, lane assist, and most other car settings, go through the phone).
With only primary controls like ECU, ABS, going through the car's native chip.

That way, much of the electronic components can be avoided, and the chip shortage would be a lot less severe.
So...you're saying that if I were to buy a new car, I'd have to buy a "smartphone", too in order to use functions--some critical (like wipers)? No. No. A thousand times, NO.

trejan
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:14 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:49 pm
So...you're saying that if I were to buy a new car, I'd have to buy a "smartphone", too in order to use functions--some critical (like wipers)? No. No. A thousand times, NO.
It'll be great when you break your old phone and get a new one to find the latest version of FancyCarControlApp no longer supports your car. I hope you left the climate control set to a reasonable all year value.

Any claims of "but they'll make sure to support it forever!" are useless as car manufacturers are already dropping support for earlier versions of their cloud based remote car control apps.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:17 am

So...you're saying that if I were to buy a new car, I'd have to buy a "smartphone", too in order to use functions--some critical (like wipers)? No. No. A thousand times, NO.
Remember when things had dials and knobs?
Fix the washing machine by getting a generic replacement dial.
Adjust temp by turning a knob.
Now we need a Pi, a 3 axis controller and other bits to 3D print a replacement knob.

It won't stop at car chip shortages, even office chairs were in short supply at the start of lockdown.

Hmm, Local Motors have gone from locally made micro factory 3D printed rally cars to autonomous micro buses.
I bet they now need chips.
I wonder if a car could be made without chips?
"Standards" would halt any crazy idea like that.

Make a car from Stainless steel so nothing rusts and it lasts forever.
Chips and software upgrades will halt that idea too.

Starting to understand why secondhand cars prices are so high and CV2s are grabbed up very quick when put on the market.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

X-Gen
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:01 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:49 pm
X-Gen wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:15 pm
I've always found that cars should have some usb phone connector, that charges the phone, and runs a car app.
So most stuff can be steered from the cell phone that's registered to the car, and some secondary electronic functions (like climate controls, entertainment system, speed of windshield wipers, traction control settings, lane assist, and most other car settings, go through the phone).
With only primary controls like ECU, ABS, going through the car's native chip.

That way, much of the electronic components can be avoided, and the chip shortage would be a lot less severe.
So...you're saying that if I were to buy a new car, I'd have to buy a "smartphone", too in order to use functions--some critical (like wipers)? No. No. A thousand times, NO.
Uhm.. Read the post before responding, and writing things I haven't written!

ame
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:55 am

X-Gen wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:15 pm
I've always found that cars should have some usb phone connector, that charges the phone, and runs a car app.
So most stuff can be steered from the cell phone that's registered to the car, and some secondary electronic functions (like climate controls, entertainment system, speed of windshield wipers, traction control settings, lane assist, and most other car settings, go through the phone).
With only primary controls like ECU, ABS, going through the car's native chip.

That way, much of the electronic components can be avoided, and the chip shortage would be a lot less severe.
Congratulations! You've solved the problem!

Now, just invent a time machine, go back in time, convince car makers that your idea is not dumb, and save us all.

Would the app be available for Android and iOS?

Where would I mount the phone? My new phone is slightly bigger than my old phone.

Can I use a tablet? How about a Nokia 3310? They're very popular in the time you are going back to.

How do I stop malware on the phone affecting my car?

KeithMck
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:33 am

I wonder if a car could be made without chips?
My first car, had no mats, no heater, vacuum wipers & rod brakes, why do we need 'chips' at all........ :lol:

jamesh
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Re: Car chip shortage, and RP 2040?

Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:43 am

Keep it civil please everyone.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Working in the Applications Team.

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