Electronics Production | September 20, 2006
Freescale and ELMOS tightens
Freescale Semiconductor and ELMOS Semiconductor are joining forces to deliver innovative multi-chip products designed to embed a higher level of intelligence into next-generation automotive systems.
The two industry leaders plan to co-develop application-specific semiconductor products (ASSPs) that combine Freescale's high-performance 16-bit microcontroller (MCU) architectures with ELMOS' high-voltage CMOS ASSPs. The jointly developed and manufactured semiconductor products are expected to provide reliable, cost-effective solutions for the global automotive market. As nodes in the car grow more intelligent, automotive customers will benefit from intelligent distributed control (IDC) products designed to bring high performance to localized applications in the car. In addition, the alliance will enable the development and manufacturing of smart sensor and actor nodes with direct bus-link functionality. "Freescale and ELMOS are partnering to create significant value for our automotive customers and drive innovation in the automotive industry," said Paul Grimme, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Transportation and Standard Products Group. "When the first jointly developed IDC products reach the market, Freescale's and ELMOS' customers will reap the benefits of greater design flexibility, reliability and faster time to market." The first multi-chip development projects are planned to integrate Freescale's well-established 16-bit S12/S12X architecture with an ELMOS ASSP design. As the most widely adopted 16-bit MCU architecture for the automotive market, Freescale's S12-based devices are now shipping at a rate of more than 100 million units per year. Freescale's collaboration with ELMOS expands the market reach of the S12 architecture into ELMOS' IDC solutions based on multi-chip devices. "Freescale and ELMOS ultimately plan to drive a dedicated line of intelligent co-integrated products for a broad range of automotive applications," said Dr. Anton Mindl, CEO of the ELMOS Semiconductor AG. "The combination of Freescale's and ELMOS' complementary semiconductor design and manufacturing expertise is expected to accelerate the introduction of next-generation system-in-package control devices." The key focus of the collaboration is the jointly developed interface that combines integrated circuits from both companies. At each stage of development, Freescale and ELMOS engineers plan to work closely together to enable innovative multi-chip solutions designed to meet high quality standards. The drivers of the Freescale/ELMOS alliance include Juergen Weyer, vice president and general manager of Freescale's transportation business in Europe, and Dr. Frank Rottmann, member of the board for sales and development of ELMOS. Freescale and ELMOS are focusing development efforts on a wide range of target applications, including body control solutions, remote motor control units for comfort functions, and safety applications. The first jointly developed products are planned to enter the automotive market in 2007.