It's personally based on what they [car companies] care about. Some don't want anything to do with it [chip design]. It's just what the Tier 1s take care of; some focus on the chip guys for powertrains; some focus on chip guys for user experience -- things like the instrument cluster. Others tend to work directly with the chip company guys for the gateways, so how you connect to the car from the outside either for maintenance or service.
So in this case, this is a longstanding car company who is particulary concerned about the human interface so they just wanted to work directly with the chip guys to define what the capabilities were. They came to us.
When the definition comes directly from the car company, we like it a lot better.
Working directly with a car company makes a difference in the type of chip Freescale would have designed versus what it did design with the car company's input. "We probably would have done a cluster part, but we probably would have undercalled the graphics performance, for example.
"The cluster segment at the low end is particularly competetive. We don't do products for the whole cluster segment. This is kind of a high-end cluster." Conrad told us. "So it gave us commericial confidence; it gave us product definition confidence."
Asked if more cores would make it into the MAC57D5xx, Conrad said at that point you would be looking at luxury car level and would move up to the I.MX series.
Dash of Cadillac's ELR electric hybrid coupe; the car was available for test drives at Freescale Technology Forum 2014. This car does not have the new MAC57D5xx MCU in its instrument cluster, but has Freescale's higher-end i.MX cluster.
(Source: EE TImes/Susan Rambo)
Freescale says it expects to begin sampling MAC57D5xx DIS MCUs in June 2014.
— Susan Rambo, Executive Editor, EE Times