Freescale i.MX31 Processor Powers Ford Sync In-Car System

Freescale Semiconductor announced that its widely-adopted i.MX31 multimedia applications processor is the engine in the Ford Sync(TM) in-car communications and entertainment system. Based on Microsoft Auto software, the Sync system is designed to provide consumers the convenience and flexibility to bring nearly any mobile phone or digital media player into their vehicle and operate it using voice commands or the vehicle’s steering wheel or radio controls.

The 400 MHz version of the i.MX31 processor, with its highly efficient memory system including L2 cache, is designed to provide ample processing power to run the Microsoft operating system, handle audio signal processing for hands free phone operation and perform all of the voice recognition functionality in the Sync system. Additionally, USB connectivity on the i.MX31 chip enables high-speed data transfer between the Sync system and a mobile phone or portable media device.

The Microsoft Auto platform includes a complete hardware reference design that supports the i.MX31 processor. “Microsoft is committed to delivering high performance, cost-effective solutions to the automotive industry and we are impressed with the price-performance, breadth of features, connectivity options and ease of re-use of the i.MX31 multimedia processor family,” said Marty Thall, Embedded Devices general manager, Microsoft Corporation. “The Microsoft Auto project team evaluated i.MX31 and quickly recognized that it met all of our key requirements.”

Sync is a fully integrated, customizable communications and media system that is designed to allow car occupants to operate both Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and nearly all portable media players with simple voice commands or hand controls on the steering wheel. Developed by Microsoft and Ford, the Sync in-car communications and entertainment system offers an advanced level of communications and entertainment convenience. The Sync system lets users control and personalize their electronic devices in their vehicle.

“Freescale’s i.MX31 processor is designed for multimedia in the home, hand and car, driving a seamless experience for mobile consumers who want to take their media on the road,” said Berardino Baratta, general manager of the Multimedia Applications Division, Freescale. “The Ford Sync in-car communications and entertainment system changes the landscape in automotive infotainment with its hands-free voice recognition capability, familiar Microsoft interface and operational simplicity. Ford, Microsoft and Freescale are enabling consumers to have access to all of their mobile devices and content in a user-friendly environment.”

Freescale’s i.MX31 multimedia applications processor
The Freescale i.MX31 multimedia applications processor is ideal for computationally-intensive applications such as automotive entertainment systems, video and audio media players, mobile gaming consoles and GPS systems, as well as smartphones, PDAs, ultra portable handheld computers and other wireless mobile devices. The i.MX31 processor includes leading power management, security management, digital rights management and image processing technology, a formidable combination of features OEMs desire to drive high-performance video, audio and 3D gaming content on wireless mobile devices. The processors are designed with Freescale’s Smart Speed Technology that enables ultra low power consumption while enabling performance equivalent to processors with much higher clock speeds (MHz).

The i.MX31 multimedia applications processors are commercially shipping in volume and can be ordered through Freescale distributors or direct from Freescale. More information

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).

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