Smart automotive controller cuts chip-count
R Colin Johnson
6/22/2011 2:29 PM EDT
SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Freescale Semiconductor Inc. Tuesday (June 21) rolled out a new line of smart microcontrollers with integrated high-voltage capabilities for smarter motor-powered capabilities inside the cabin of automobiles.
By extending its line of low-cost S12 16-bit microcontrollers, Freescale aims to woo automobile makers who want to make their vehicles smarter without adding to their cost. The S12 MagniV microcontrollers have integrated three functions—processor, analog front-ends for sensing and high-voltage actuation—into a single chip.
"We believe that the MagniV will help automobile makers reduce their chip count and costs, while increasing the capabilities of their in-cabin functions," said Manuel Alves, microcontroller product manager at Freescale.
The first chip in the new line controls electric windows or sunroof functions with a smart algorithm that prevents them from injuring passengers by stopping when they encounter an obstacle, like a passenger's arm. The S12VR64 is implemented with Freescale's proprietary 180 nanometer process that uses 40V analog, non-volatile memory (NVM) and digital logic to integrate the local interconnection network (LIN) physical layers, voltage regulators and drivers for DC motors into a single chip.
Freescale will add to the family of smart in-cabin microcontrollers over the
coming decade with a wide variety AEC-Q100-qualified S12 MagniV models. They
integrate a processor with on-chip regulators, LIN and CAN physical layers and
high-voltage motor drivers for smart in-cabin functions like LED lighting,
stepper-motor control, brushless DC motor control and generic slaves.
instance, Freescale hopes to announce by 2012 a model for the smart control of
windshield wipers that can detect rainfall and automatically turn them on. All
S12 MagniV models are a part of Freescale's product longevity program that
guarantees automobile makers that they will continue to manufacture the parts
for at least 15 years.