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Freescale teams with China's Chery on car electronics

Posted: 30 Apr 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:joint automotive lab? engine management system? microcontroller?

Chery Automobile Co. Ltd and Freescale Semiconductor will establish a joint automotive lab aimed at co-developing silicon, software and system-level solutions for use in Chery vehicles for China and export markets.

Tech collaboration
Freescale and Chery have partnered extensively in powertrain and engine control. In particular, the Chery engine management system (EMS) project based on Freescale's S12XE MCU has been a significant achievement. Both companies also plan to explore joint development in automotive application areas such as body electronics, powertrain technology, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and in-vehicle entertainment electronics. The planned technology collaboration is expected to involve a wide range of Freescale MCU platforms, including Freescale's 32bit Power Architecture MCUs, 16bit S12X and 8bit S08 devices, as well as analog power management ICs.

"The collaboration combines both companies' complementary strengths in electronic architectures and software development," said Jianhui Lu, vice president of Chery Automotive. "With the help of Freescale's IC integration, semiconductor manufacturing and IC quality capabilities, Chery will grow its automotive electronics product development capability."

Eyeing China
Chery and Freescale plan to cooperate in multiple areas and a wide range of applications. The two companies, along with third-party partners, will develop electronic control unit (ECU) hardware and low-level drivers, high-level software interface and modeling tools, demonstration boards, in-vehicle networking solutions, body control modules, HEV control units and more.

Recently, Chery developed its own EMS using Freescale's S12XE MCUs for the entry-level automotive market. This EMS will be used soon in Chery vehicles manufactured in production volume. Chery plans to migrate its next-generation EMS to 32bit MCU technology, and Freescale's MPC55xx family of Power Architecture MCUs is expected to be Chery's preferred choice. Successful cooperation around this EMS project has accelerated collaboration between both companies and also provides an excellent paradigm for future joint development.

"As China's leading independent automaker and the first to export Chinese-designed and manufactured vehicles, Chery is a growth engine for China's extraordinary rise in the global automotive market," said Paul Grimme, senior VP and general manager of Freescale's microcontroller solutions group. "Through close collaboration and joint R&D, Freescale and Chery intend to drive breakthroughs in cost-effective body electronics, powertrain, body electronics and HEV solutions into next-generation automotive system designs."

Automotive manufacturing in China, said to be the world's second largest automotive market after the United States, surged by over 22 percent in 2007 to a record 8.8 million vehicle units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The majority of China's automotive exports target developing nations, according to auto research firm J.D. Power and Associates. China could overtake the United States as the world's top automotive markt some time after 2015, reported the firm.

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