DSP, Micros & Memory


New microcontroller accelerates automotive innovation with industry's largest embedded flash array

20 September 2006 DSP, Micros & Memory

Freescale Semiconductor has announced it has achieved a milestone in microcontroller (MCU) technology to help fuel innovation in next-generation powertrain designs and other automotive control applications.

The company's MPC55xx automotive controller family built on its Power Architecture technology now includes the MPC5566 - the first 32-bit MCU to integrate 3 MB of flash memory.

The MPC5566 microcontroller features the largest embedded flash memory on an MCU in the industry today. By addressing the growing need for more embedded memory in automotive applications, it enables developers to design more advanced powertrain engine control systems that increase fuel efficiency and reduce harmful exhaust emissions. Large on-chip flash arrays provide application developers with a high-performance solution to support more sophisticated, memory-intensive engine control functionality.

"Powertrain applications are the harshest of automotive electronic environments," said Mark Fitzgerald, an automotive electronics analyst at Strategy Analytics. "Semiconductor suppliers who can deliver reliable, high-performance microcontrollers that meet the demanding performance and efficiency requirements of leading automotive electronics manufacturers will be well positioned to succeed in the powertrain market."

The MPC5566 controller is Freescale's seventh device in the MPC55xx family. The family is designed to provide significant performance gains over today's controller solutions, while helping to ensure a smooth migration path to higher-performance applications. Members of this scalable family of powertrain controllers are pin- and code-compatible, enabling re-use of code across multiple applications.

"Freescale is the first to offer large flash arrays qualified for automotive temperatures, and we have now delivered the industry's first 3 MB device," said Mike McCourt, vice president and general manager of Freescale's microcontroller division.

The MPC55xx family is based on the power-efficient e200 core, built on Power Architecture technology. In February, ST Microelectronics and Freescale announced a collaboration agreement that outlines joint design of 32-bit automotive MCUs based on Power Architecture technology, including future 90 nm products with dual-source options available for these devices. Additionally, General Motors announced in 2004 that it will use the MPC55xx family in future GM powertrain engine control systems around the world.



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