Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL) (NYSE:FSL.B) and the BMW Group are bringing a higher standard of innovation to the market with the industry’s first use of FlexRay(TM) technology in BMW’s new X5 Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).
The FlexRay network communications system is designed to meet the demand for high data rate networks driven by the increased high-speed electronic content in automobiles. BMW’s adoption of FlexRay technology is expected to give drivers access to unprecedented handling and stability control capabilities based on FlexRay’s capacity to transfer data rapidly between networked control devices and systems in an automobile.
With the simple press of a button, drivers of the new BMW X5 can choose a sporting or comfortable ride on the fly. This innovative technology is the cornerstone of BMW’s AdaptiveDrive feature, which gives drivers a combination of Active Roll Stabilization and Electronic Damping Control.
The high-speed data FlexRay communications system was implemented to provide fast and reliable coordination of all AdaptiveDrive functions.
“The FlexRay communications standard is continuing to gain support with key OEMs in Europe, Japan and the United States and is expected to be used by vehicle makers to enable exciting new safety-critical and performance features, as well as making on-board networking of existing electronics systems more robust,” said Chris Webber, vice president of the Automotive Practice at Strategy Analytics. “Bringing this technology to the market first clearly demonstrates BMW’s dedication to cutting-edge technology in providing its customer with innovative product features and an enhanced driving experience.”
A consortium of development companies, including FlexRay consortium co-founders BMW and Freescale, has enhanced FlexRay technology to production standards. Freescale is currently the only semiconductor supplier that has FlexRay microcontrollers (MCUs) in a production-ready automobile. Freescale’s 32-bit FlexRay MCUs announced this year help enable 10Mbit/s bandwidth for communication between systems for such automotive applications as active and passive safety, collision avoidance, powertrain management and driver assistance.
The new BMW X5 will be launched in North America at the end of November 2006. It will be available in other markets worldwide in spring 2007.
The optional chassis package, AdaptiveDrive, uses sensors that constantly monitor and calculate data on the road speed of the vehicle, its steering angle, straight-line and lateral acceleration, body and wheel acceleration, as well as height levels. Then, based on this information, the system controls both the swivel motors on the anti-roll bars and the electromagnetic shock absorber valves, controlling body roll and dampening as required at all times. Simply by pressing a button, the driver can choose either a sporting or a more comfortable basic setting of AdaptiveDrive.
The leader in automotive semiconductors
Freescale is the No. 1 supplier of automotive semiconductors, with more than 30 years of experience in the automotive industry. Freescale technology is used in an overwhelming majority of new vehicles. Freescale’s sensors, analog products and 8-, 16- and 32-bit microcontroller families provide intelligence and connectivity for advanced safety, body electronics, chassis, engine control, powertrain, driver information and telematics applications. Freescale is a pioneer in FlexRay technology and was the first supplier to integrate CAN, LIN and flash memory technologies on automotive MCUs.
About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. (NYSE:FSL) (NYSE:FSL.B) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. Freescale became a publicly traded company in July 2004. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale, a member of the S&P 500(R), is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2005 sales of $5.8 billion (USD).
More information: FlexRay Consortium
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