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Freescale, Continental co-develop 3-core MCU for car brakes

Posted: 18 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:triple-core MCU? automotive brakes? Continental car?

To enable the next generation of electronic brake system (EBS) and chassis control systems, Freescale Semiconductor and Continental Automotive Systems' EBS business unit in Frankfurt, Germany have joined forces to design a high-performance, multicore MCU optimized for EBS applications.

The collaboration is centered on a custom MCU called SPACE that's designed to provide the processing intelligence for Continental's next-generation EBS products. The SPACE device integrates three e200 cores based on Power Architecture technology, making it the industry's first triple-core automotive MCU, the announcement said.

"The SPACE device is the most powerful, sophisticated automotive MCU in its class," said Wolfgang Fey, director of electronic systems at Continental Automotive Systems. "Creating a device of such complexity has required close collaboration between Continental and Freescale engineering teams on all technology frontssilicon design, software tools, simulation and modeling, and hardware platforms. We're working in unison to develop what we think will be a breakthrough in multicore technology for the automotive industry."

Twice the performance
Designed to double the performance of existing MCUs, the SPACE contains 3Mbytes of flash, 96Kbytes of SRAM, advanced FlexRay technology and Continental's fail-safe technology, which fulfils all requirements for Safety Integrity Level 3 applications. The device's multicore performance makes it suitable for a wide range of fail-safe-critical applications in the performance-intensive chassis control market. The high level of integration also helps reduce system cost, power requirements, component count and board space.

"Developing a triple-core MCU based on Power Architecture technology with this level of integration and functionality redefines innovation," said Mike McCourt, VP and general manager of Freescale's microcontroller division. "The resulting SPACE device has the potential to unleash unprecedented levels of performance for new generations of braking systems. The integration of FlexRay technology and planned AUTOSAR compliance also take this device to the leading edge of automotive networking and software technology."

The multicore SPACE device, currently available in 130nm process technology, is the first member of a comprehensive MCU family, with a roadmap to higher performance planned on 90nm process technology.

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