Freescale Unveils 3 Power Architecture Automotive Microcontrollers

Freescale Semiconductor, the leading semiconductor supplier to the automotive industry, has expanded its portfolio of Power Architecture[tm] microcontrollers (MCUs) to address a broad range of cost-sensitive automotive applications requiring 32-bit performance. The company has introduced three new automotive MCU families optimized for safety, chassis, instrument cluster, body electronics and gateway designs.

Manufactured on 90-nanometer technology, the three Power Architecture MCU families were developed collaboratively with STMicroelectronics as part of a joint design program initiated in January 2006. Based on the e200 Power Architecture core, the MCU products share a common hardware and software ecosystem, which enables system designers to streamline the development process by reusing code and development tools.

“Power Architecture technology is becoming the de facto 32-bit standard for the global automotive market as the core architecture continues to gain traction in application segments that require exceptional performance and scalability,” said Paul Grimme, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller Solutions Group. “The three advanced product families are optimized for computationally demanding applications that will help make the next generation of automobiles safer, more affordable and driver-friendly.”

Chassis and safety control solutions
Freescale’s MPC560xP MCU family is designed to help automotive developers replace bulky hydraulic and mechanical components with lightweight electrical systems that draw power only as needed. Increased use of electrical systems in automotive designs helps reduce vehicle weight and contributes to improved fuel efficiency, as well as reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The MPC560xP family is designed to benefit automotive chassis and safety applications, such as stability control, electric power steering and braking, as well as hybrid powertrain systems.

The MPC560xP devices feature fast analog-to-digital (ADC) controllers and high-precision timers that work in concert for efficient field-oriented control of electric motors. An on-chip cross triggering unit enhances system efficiency and reduces system cost by managing sample timing, which offloads the MCU core from frequent interrupts. The high-resolution 120MHz PWM module supports key motor control features, such as dead-time insertion, dead-time distortion correction and advanced fault shut-down.

The automotive industry trend to replace mechanical systems with electromechanical systems is driving the need for electronic components to meet ever higher safety standards. The MPC560xP family helps automotive designers implement systems that address key functional safety requirements, such as IEC61508. Integrated features, such as an on-chip fault collection unit, are designed to enhance the visibility of MCU status. SRAM and flash memory include error correction coding (ECC) capabilities. An on-chip temperature sensor and clock monitor help detect system-level conditions. The MPC560xP family also supports the FlexRay[tm] networking protocol, which is engineered to enable robust, redundant in-vehicle communications at up to 10 times the speed of other protocols.

Instrument cluster control solutions
The MPC560xS MCU family is designed to address the next wave of automotive instrument cluster applications using color thin film transistor (TFT) displays. Once limited to high-end vehicles, TFT displays are growing more prevalent in low-end to mid-range vehicles. The MPC560xS product family addresses the system requirements of entry-level, yet sophisticated, instrument cluster applications with a cost-effective, single-chip solution that directly drives the TFT display. The MPC560xS devices not only are designed to support TFT displays in automotive dashboards, they also can drive analog gauges and liquid crystal displays (LCDs).

The MPC560xS MCUs feature a sophisticated, integrated display control unit (DCU) designed to drive TFT LCD displays in up to wide quarter video graphics array (WQVGA). Internal memory resources easily handle complex graphics contents (pictures, icons, languages, fonts) on a color TFT panel. Graphical content on screen sizes of up to half VGA (HVGA) can be addressed by expanding the memory using a quad serial peripheral interface (QuadSPI) for serial flash memory. The MPC560xS family provides a scalable solution, with 1MB flash sizes sampling now, as well as larger and smaller flash versions that are planned for the future.

Body electronics and gateway solutions
Freescale’s MPC560xB MCU family is designed to provide exceptional price/performance for use in central body controllers, gateways, comfort features (doors, seats, interior lighting), security/safety features (passive entry systems, immobilizers, tire pressure monitoring systems) and lighting control systems (headlights, brake lights, turn lights).

The MPC560xB MCUs include on-chip modules for Controller Area Network (CAN) and Local Interconnect Network (LIN[tm]) communications, in addition to other peripherals necessary to implement a wide range of functionality in automotive body networks. Starting with a 512KB version, the MPC560xB family will have a wide range of flash memory options, enabling developers to migrate to higher performance solutions. The MCUs include an instruction set enhancement allowing variable length encoding (VLE) for code size reduction. Encoding of mixed 16-bit and 32-bit instructions enables developers to achieve significant code size reduction for body applications.

Comprehensive development support
Freescale’s automotive MCUs built on Power Architecture technology are supported by a comprehensive ecosystem of evaluation boards and software tools, including compilers, debuggers and modeling tools. Access to this mature ecosystem reduces application development complexity and debugging/validation time during prototyping and software integration phases. Freescale offers standardized AUTOSAR and motor control libraries designed to help automotive designers reduce development time and optimize application performance.

Pricing and availability
Samples of MPC560xP, MPC560xS and MPC560xB family MCUs are planned to be available to lead automotive customers throughout 2008. For product pricing, please contact local Freescale sales representatives.

Freescale: 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 MCU families provide intelligence and connectivity for advanced safety, body electronics, chassis, engine control, powertrain, driver information and telematics. 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 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 2007 sales of $5.7 billion (USD).

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