Showcasing embedded design innovation among engineering students in China, Freescale Semiconductor staged the finals of the Freescale Cup National Smart Car University Design Competition at Shanghai Jiaotong University. The second annual smart model car competition drew nearly 300 participating engineering teams from more than 100 Chinese universities. Today’s final race narrowed the field to 76 competing teams from five racing zones throughout China.
The final field race at Shanghai Jiaotong University was the culmination of several months of student design and assembly of smart model cars built with Freescale microcontroller (MCU) technology. Competing teams displayed and then raced their smart model cars, which are designed to operate autonomously and identify their routes automatically.
The design contest required participants to design, produce, tune and test model cars based on the Freescale 16-bit S12X MCU family, which provided the processing intelligence for each car’s control mechanism and supporting systems. Each model car was capable of piloting itself through a challenging race course with continuous curves. To increase the difficulty level and encourage greater innovation, the organizers of this year’s event set a higher bar for advanced control capabilities and made the race track more challenging in terms of track length, width, slope, curvature and overall configuration. Team scores were determined by the time taken by each race car to complete the course. In selecting the winning teams, Freescale Cup judges also considered technical design, production and engineering quality.
“The Freescale Cup was initiated by the Ministry of Education to encourage advanced engineering education reform, provide students with hands-on opportunities to experience innovation and teamwork, and cultivate embedded design expertise and creativity among China’s top engineering students,” said Professor Zhang Yaoxue, director of the higher education department of the China Ministry of Education. “Today’s engineering students represent the future of China’s automotive electronics industry. Fostering top engineering talent requires collaboration between China’s institutions of higher learning and automotive-related industries. I am very pleased to see this collaboration result in such a popular nationwide design contest. We are grateful to Freescale for providing advanced technology and innovative design concepts to a new generation of students.”
The Freescale Cup University Smart Car Racing Contest was organized by the Tertiary Education Automation Teaching Subcommittee of the Ministry of Education in China. The contest was sponsored by Freescale Semiconductor and implemented by Shanghai Jiaotong University. Zhang Yaoxue, executives from Freescale, and other leaders, experts and professors from Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai Jiaotong University and other institutions of higher learning attended the awards ceremony.
Academician Wu Cheng – the director of the Freescale Cup organizing committee and the director of the Tertiary Education Automation Teaching Subcommittee – announced the competition results. Zhang Yaoxue and Paul Grimme, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Transportation & Standard Products Group, presented the awards to the winning teams.
“At Freescale, we believe competition spurs innovation,” said Paul Grimme during remarks presented at the awards ceremony. “To that end, we have created and sponsored the Freescale Cup as a collaborative, challenging and entertaining way for students to sharpen their expertise in automotive embedded control. I would like to congratulate the China Ministry of Education, the Tertiary Education Automation Teaching Subcommittee and Contest Secretariat for their great success in promoting and supporting the Freescale Cup. I also commend the participating professors and students. Nothing will fuel the growth of the China automotive industry better than the passion and enthusiasm we witnessed here today.”
According to the China State Information Center, by the end of 2007, total car sales in China are expected to increase to 8.3 million, accounting for 12 percent of the global automotive market. Last year, China surpassed Japan for the first time to become the No. 2 car market after the United States. With local auto makers expanding their market reach beyond the mainland, and international auto makers investing more here, China is rapidly developing a world-class, end-to-end supply chain for the auto industry. By 2015, China is predicted to secure the world’s No. 1 position in global car sales.
About Freescale’s S12 Microcontroller Design Contests
The Freescale Cup National Smart Car University Design Competition evolved from the longstanding Freescale-sponsored S12 Microcontroller Car Competition in Korea, now in its fifth year. Finals of the 2007 S12 MCU Car Competition were held July 12 at Hanyang University in Seoul. This year, 400 students from 118 teams representing 51 universities across Korea participated in the largest-ever S12 design contest.
Freescale is now shipping its popular S12 16-bit automotive MCUs at a rate of more than 100 million units a year. Freescale S12 and S12X MCU families are designed to enable scalability, hardware and software reuse, and compatibility across a broad array of automotive electronics platforms such as body, chassis and safety systems. The most widely adopted 16-bit architecture in the automotive market, the S12 family offers a broad range of performance and memory options (with on-chip flash memory scaling from 16 KB to 1 MB) and a smooth migration path to higher-performance S12X devices.
About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor 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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