The paper critically reviews the limits, for safety-critical automotive applications, of state-of-art technologies for nonvolatile memory data/instruction storage and MEMS inertial sensors. Some hints, supported by theoretical analysis and/or experimental measures, to overcome these issues are provided. The reliability limits of plastic packages, typically adopted to keep low the device cost in the large volume automotive market, are also discussed. By exploiting a Fault Tree Analysis, the packaging bottlenecks are highlighted and proper countermeasures at circuit and technology level are proposed.
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