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MCU for car instrumentation cluster has TFT display drive

Posted: 05 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Freescale? S12XHZ512? microcontroller? automotive? instrumentation?

Freescale Semiconductor's latest 16bit MCU is aimed at the next wave in automotive instrumentation clusters. The MC9S12XHZ512 MCU is said to be the industry's first instrumentation cluster MCU featuring an integrated TFT display drive.

On-chip TFT driver
With its on-chip TFT driver, the S12XHZ512 device enables instrumentation cluster designers to reduce the complexity of their designs and implement high-quality graphic displays on low-end automotive dashboards in a timely, cost-effective manner.

TFT displays, standard fare in laptops, cellphones and other mobile appliances are gaining momentum in the mainstream automotive market as the technology becomes more cost-effective. The new MCU addresses the instrumentation cluster market, and TFT applications in particular, by offering optimal integration and application-specific features.

The S12XHZ512 uses the 40MHz 16bit HCS12 CPU core. It is upwardly code compatible with the HCS12 family, enabling developers with previous systems based on the HCS12 to reuse design tools for their new S12XHZ512-based applications.

The S12XHZ512 handles application-critical intelligent control functions and is designed to drive the display in a car dashboard. In addition to supporting TFT displays, the device can drive analog gauges, LCDs and LED displays. Key S12XHZ512 features for instrumentation cluster designers include 512Kbyte of on-chip flash memory (twice that of its S12HZ predecessor), an LCD driver and stepper motor drivers for gauges.

On-chip XGATE coprocessor
"The S12XHZ512 comes at a perfect time for our instrumentation cluster customers," said Mike McCourt, VP and general manager of Freescale's microcontroller division. "Once limited to high-end vehicles, TFT displays are growing more prevalent in low-end to mid-range vehicles, which the S12XHZ family targets. The MCU's integrated XGATE coprocessor provides an enabling technology for TFT displays by driving the system cost reductions necessary to accelerate adoption of next-generation displays in the mainstream automotive market."

The MC9S12XHZ512 MCU and MC9S12XHZ512EVB evaluation board are available today in sample quantities. Prices were not released.

- Marty Gold

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