PORTLAND, Ore. Souped up 32-bit microcontrollers for both sides of the automobile firewall debuted Monday (Oct. 20) at Convergence 2008 in Detroit.
Lowering the cost of "green" engine control and infotainment was the goal of Freescale Semiconductor's new 32-bit microcontrollers. The MPC5674F Power Architecture targets precise engine control of engine needed to lower emissions while increasing mileage. Freescale claimed the device is 30 percent cheaper but 10 times faster than the devices it would replace.
The i.MX35 multimedia processor family is said to lower the price of functions like map-based navigation and hands-free control of in-car audio.
According to Gartner Inc., precise engine controls that lower emissions and improve could drive the automotive microcontroller market to $6.3 billion by 2012.
The Power Architecture microcontroller offers over 600 MIPS of performance and 4 Mbytes of flash, said Kevin Klein, Freescale's marketing manager for automotive microcontrollers. "With the increases in oil prices and gas prices, there is a lot more emphasis in putting advanced engine technology even into less expensive vehicles. So that's what this is going to enable."
Separately, iSuppli Corp. (El Segundo, Calif.) predicts that the auto infotainment processor market will more than double over the next six years, from $580 million in 2007 to as much as $1.2 billion by 2014.
"Another key feature is to be able to control those devices by using your voice," said Michael Haight, automotive product marketing manager for Freescale's Multimedia Applications Division. "Voice recognition utilizes an ARM-11 core to process the search algorithms to find the right context for the speech and to recognize the control."
Using its 90-nm CMOS process, the MPC5674F runs at 264 MHz, executes 600 million Dhrystone instructions per second, includes DSP functions, on-chip analog-to-digital converters and includes 4-Mbits of on-chip flash memory.