Freescale Introduces Virtual Architect Tool Suite

Freescale Semiconductor, the leading supplier of semiconductors to the automotive industry, is helping OEMs manage the increasing complexity of automotive electronics design with the introduction of the Virtual Architect (VA) Tool Suite. The software helps ensure synchronization of design data along with product planning data. As a result, automobile manufacturers can significantly reduce complexity, helping to reduce costly errors, improve accuracy of service diagnostics and lower warranty costs.

The first commercialized components of the suite include VA-Harness and VA-Complexity Management (CM). These tools enable a complexity driven wire harness design process to help ensure that every orderable vehicle has the required set of wire harnesses and enables OEMs to intelligently collaborate to manage and reduce complexity. As the first automobile manufacturer to adopt Freescale’s VA Tool Suite, Chrysler is using the VA-Harness and VA-CM in addition to working with Freescale on other components of the suite expected to be released over the next 12 months.

“Freescale does more than provide silicon, we solve problems,” said Henri Richard, senior vice president, chief sales and marketing officer for Freescale. “Working closely with Chrysler, an early adaptor in the development of these tools, we have been able to create a highly intelligent software solution that helps move car design into the next generation. This tool suite is a result of our numerous engagements with OEMs and their suppliers to develop a solution that truly solves the complexity and system integration issues that have plagued automotive electronics designers for years.”

As car companies add more electronic features for differentiation, they face not only system complexity but also product complexity. This transition has put automobile manufacturers increasingly in the role of system integrator. Freescale’s VA Tool Suite allows automotive OEMs to be true system integrators managing complexity and defining performance driven Electrical/Electronic (EE) architectures to enable smoother integration of systems.

In the typical design environment, each domain (sensors, wiring harnesses, communications busses, electronic control units, actuators, etc.) operates semi-autonomously, and thus a change in the architectural design of a component in one domain typically required time-consuming manual coordination between engineers of different domains. The VA Tool Suite was developed to address these common EE design issues that plague vehicles at launch. It enables the system engineer to specify the vehicle level EE performance requirements, communicate and collaborate with other EE engineering design domains and conduct performance requirement validations. This helps to ensure synchronization of design specifications (harness, network and ECU) for the vehicle, reducing the likelihood of costly errors.

The VA Tool Suite is being launched from Freescale’s Virtual Garage program, which was created to expand Freescale’s solution offerings beyond silicon and related software. The development of the VA Tool Suite is testament to Freescale’s ongoing commitment to provide complete solutions to the automotive industry.

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[tm] 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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