Zone architecture

Bringing you one step closer to your vision of a software-defined vehicle

The automotive industry is undergoing a software-centric transformation. With the vision towards a software-defined vehicle, automakers are redefining the vehicle’s architecture and shifting from domain to zone architectures, to provide more personalization, a better in-vehicle experience and the next level of convenience, enabled by over-the-air updates. We offer years of system expertise along with our latest technology for intelligent load actuation, optimized in-vehicle networking, smart power distribution and computing to support your vision, so that you can bring the right level of personalized experience to consumers.

Featured applications

Create a personalized, integrated and immersive cabin experience with our digital cockpit controller applications

Meet ever-increasing demands to compute sensor and vision data in vehicles quickly, accurately and reliably

Driving vehicle comfort, convenience, lighting and in-vehicle communication

Why choose TI for your zone architecture solution?


Smarter subsystems

Enable control logic to shift from zone and edge electronic control units (ECUs) to central computing with intelligent power, actuation and communication solutions


Optimized system cost

Reduce cost across platforms, ECUs and ECU variants with our scalable portfolios


Scalable architectures

Create scalable tailored solutions to meet unique system requirements with our broad portfolio of analog and embedded devices

Enabling technologies

As zone architectures condense software into fewer ECUs, there is a greater benefit to implementing corresponding embedded solutions across all computing, zone controller and edge modules. Our portfolio of microcontrollers and processors help you create scalable solutions, balancing cost and performance across all levels.

Portfolio options are for:

  • Central computing that perform advanced processing for advanced driver assistance systems, infotainment and network management.
  • Zone controllers that enable enhanced real-time control and gateway functionality for load actuation, power distribution and secure network bridging.
  • Edge ECUs that optimize mixed-signal processing costs for local load and sensor management.
White paper
Security Enablers on Jacinto™ 7 Processors
This white paper discusses the Jacinto™ 7 processor device family and provides an overview of the security features that can help system designers achieve their security objectives.
Technical article
What is “real-time control” and why do you need it?
This article explains the functional blocks of a real-time control system, using a robotics application as an example.
Featured products for scalable computing
DRA821U-Q1 ACTIVE Automotive gateway SoC with dual Arm® Cortex®-A72, quad Cortex-R5F, four-port Ethernet switch, PCIe
AM2634-Q1 ACTIVE Automotive quad-core Arm® Cortex®-R5F MCU up to 400 MHz with real-time control and security
NEW MSPM0G3507-Q1 PREVIEW Automotive, 80-Mhz Arm® Cortex®-M0+ MCU with 128-KB flash, 32-KB SRAM, 12-bit ADC,DAC,OPA and CAN-FD

Zone architectures are adding intelligent and optimized power distribution by replacing melting fuses with smart semiconductor switches in power distribution boxes and local zone controllers. Semiconductor switches provide benefits such as resettable outputs and accurate I2t characteristics across temperature that help optimize wiring harness lengths and reduce wire gauges.

Our eFuse devices provide:

  • Fully configurable features and settings through Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI).
  • Configurable I2t curve, current limit, capacitive charging and pulse-width modulation settings.
  • Low quiescent-current mode with adjustable load current wakeup.
  • A daisy-chainable SPI to reduce microcontroller input/output demand.
Automotive smart fuse evaluation module
This evaluation module and corresponding daughtercards showcase and evaluate all of the features of our smart fuse high-side switch portfolio.
Application note
Automotive Smart Fuse (Rev. A)
This application brief investigates smart fuse designs for different current levels.
Featured products for smart power distribution
NEW TPS2HCS10-Q1 PREVIEW Automotive, dual-channel 10-mΩ smart high-side switch with I²T wire protection, low IQ mode and SPI
TPS1211-Q1 ACTIVE Automotive 3.5-V to 40-V high-side driver with protection and diagnostics
NEW LM74900-Q1 ACTIVE Automotive ideal diode with circuit breaker, under- and overvoltage protection with fault output

Zone architectures rely on smart load drivers that help minimize microcontroller intervention during load or wiring fault conditions, provide software flexibility for over-the-air updates, and reduce printed circuit board and bill-of-materials cost across platforms and variants.

Our broad portfolio of load drivers feature:

  • Advanced fault diagnostics to autonomously protect the load driver, cable and load through various fault conditions.
  • Software configurability to change fault, load control and other device settings through Serial Peripheral Interface.
  • A range of multifunction and multichannel devices including integrated field-effect transistor and gate-driver solutions to meet unique channel count and load requirements.
Technical article
How integrated brushed-DC solutions can reduce size, enhance protection and simpli
This article addresses size constraints, fault conditions and the need for design reuse in order to reduce development time.
Motor-driver protection features
Learn more about how protection features work to detect unsafe conditions, four protection features found on the majority of our motor drivers, and specific protection circuits found on other motor drivers.
Application note
How To Drive Resistive, Inductive, Capacitive, and Lighting Loads (Rev. E)
Learn more about inductive and capacitive loads, including the underlying challenges of the load and the necessity for diagnostics tools such as those integrated into our smart high-side switches.
Featured products for load actuation
DRV8245-Q1 ACTIVE Automotive 40-V, 32-A H-Bridge driver with integrated current sensing and feedback
TPS1211-Q1 ACTIVE Automotive 3.5-V to 40-V high-side driver with protection and diagnostics

Zone architectures require reliable and secure in-vehicle network communication across all layers of the network for implementing over-the-air updates and sharing various types of data.

Our broad portfolio of interface and embedded solutions enable designers to:

  • Optimize network processing and communication across all layers from edge electronic control units (ECUs), zone controllers and central computing modules.
  • Balance in-vehicle network system cost at the intended bandwidth in order to fit your specific network architecture.
  • Enable central computing capabilities and reduce over-the-air update times.
  • Secure the network with integrated security features.
Zone architecture, Ethernet drive vehicles of the future
Learn how a zone architecture implementing Ethernet enables the growing trend of the software-defined vehicle.
White paper
How Signal Improvement Capability Unlocks Real Potential of CAN-FD Transceivers
Learn how signal improvement capability enables the use of Controller Area Network-Flexible Data Rate transceivers at 5 Mbps and beyond.
What is a system-basis chip?
Achieve smaller system designs in edge ECU applications with system-basis chips that integrate bus transceivers and voltage regulators.
Featured products for in-vehicle networking
TCAN1043A-Q1 ACTIVE Automotive CAN FD transceiver with wake/inhibit/sleep
TLIN1021A-Q1 ACTIVE Automotive Fault-Protected LIN Transceiver with Inhibit and Wake

Streamlining functional safety

With so much at stake with your zone architecture solutions, functional safety provides the necessary risk-management framework. Our products include on-demand documentation such as functional safety failure-in-time rates and failure-mode distribution.


Reference designs related to Zone architecture

Use our reference design selection tool to find designs that best match your application and parameters.

Technical resources

White paper
White paper
How a Zone Architecture Paves the Way to a Fully Software-Defined Vehicle (Rev. B)
Read how a zone architecture paves the way to a fully software-defined vehicle.
document-pdfAcrobat PDF
Processing the Advantages of Zone Architectures in Automotive
Read this article to understand the evolution from domain to zone architectures to optimize both power distribution and in-vehicle networks, while reducing cable length and weight.
Zone architecture, Ethernet drive vehicles of the future
Read this technical article to understand how a zone architecture implementing Ethernet enables the growing trend of the software-defined vehicle.