Automotice Microsite

Freescale microcontroller adds comfort and convenience to luxury sedans

18th June 2010
ES Admin
As the electronic and software content in automobiles continues to increase, the need for fast, reliable communication between vehicle subsystems intensifies. To help address this networking design challenge, Freescale Semiconductor recently developed a high-performance microcontroller (MCU) based on its Power Architecture® technology in collaboration with leading automaker, the BMW Group. Freescale’s 32-bit MCU for BMW’s 2010 luxury sports activity vehicles (SAVs) offers innovative dual-core architecture and enables unparalleled performance and integration to help reduce the cost and design complexity of connecting in-vehicle networks together at a single point.
As the electronic and software content in automobiles continues to increase, the need for fast, reliable communication between vehicle subsystems intensifies. To help address this networking design challenge, Freescale Semiconductor recently developed a high-performance microcontroller (MCU) based on its Power Architecture technology in collaboration with leading automaker, the BMW Group. Freescale’s 32-bit MCU for BMW’s 2010 luxury sports activity vehicles (SAVs) offers innovative dual-core architecture and enables unparalleled performance and integration to help reduce the cost and design complexity of connecting in-vehicle networks together at a single point.

Freescale, one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-end gateway solutions, worked with the BMW Group for over a year - through each design phase from initial concept to the first prototype car - to help provide solutions to the challenges posed by the exponential increase in network traffic between electronic subsystems. The 12-month schedule was challenging; however, both parties were closely aligned and Freescale was able to deliver silicon at the end of 12 months, which BMW successfully tested in a prototype car two weeks later This jointly-created solution is able to deliver unprecedented performance and cost balance, and is expected to be deployed in the next BMW 1-and 3-Series and on the new X3 platform.

“We are extremely proud of this cooperation with the BMW Group as the trend toward more centralized data fusion within vehicles continues to require higher-speed processing capabilities,” said Henri Richard, senior vice president of Freescale’s global sales and marketing. “Electronics are expected to represent 35 percent of the average cost of a vehicle this year. Freescale technology ultimately will help drive more sophisticated but still highly reliable in-vehicle networking capabilities to handle the increasing electronic content in these intelligent automobiles.”

Power Architecture technology is one of the world's leading architectures for automotive powertrain control. Freescale’s automotive processors based on Power Architecture technology are stringently tested to withstand the extremely harsh environment in automotive applications.

Freescale’s MPC5668G MCU acts as a gateway that interconnects many different electronic control units (ECU) that help control a wide range of automotive body and driver convenience features. Freescale is able to provide this precision control technology using only a single integrated circuit rather than traditional multi-chip solutions that have performance limitations and pose electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) constraints. In addition to precise electronics control, the Freescale MCU also takes the information from the ECUs and provides a central point for communication with the external world. This integration on a single chip enhances the speed of diagnostics and reprogramming of other modules found throughout the vehicle.

Strategy Analytics, a leading automotive industry analyst firm, forecasts that body systems, encompassing comfort and convenience features, have become a high growth area for the automotive industry. As these and other domains increasingly become networked together, the demand for powerful, high-bandwidth MCUs are expected to continue to explode.

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