When most people think of memory being used in a car, they think of the control programming for the engine or the preference setting on the interior. The vehicles now have many types of distributed memory in the vehicle -- SRAM, DRAM, ROM, FLASH, and in some vehicles, tests of MRAM.
Automotive memories are similar to commercial memories in function, but have a different form of operation. They are closer to ECC (error correcting code) memories where it is important that the result that comes out from a memory access is correct, and that the information stored is correct. As more microprocessors are being used in the cars, distributed DRAM that is local to the signal, and information processing and SRAM or FLASH storage memory, are being used to transfer information between functions in the car.
The new architecture for the cars is to have a main centralized processor with a large memory configuration similar to a standard computer. This unit processes and makes systemic decisions based on the information from all the driver's assistance, engine, and drive train subsystems.
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-- Pallab Chatterjee is CTO of SiliconMap and has been an independent business development and electronics circuit designer since 1985. He can be reached at email@example.com.