Auto Electronics

Freescale, Chery agree to collaborate

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

Freescale and Chery have worked together on powertrain and engine control projects and plan to explore joint development in body electronics, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and in-vehicle entertainment electronics. The collaboration is expected to involve a range of Freescale MCU platforms including 32-bit Power Architecture MCUs, 16-bit S12X, and 8-bit S08 devices, as well as analog power management ICs.

The two companies, in concert with third-party partners, plan to co-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, and HEV control units.

Chery recently developed its own EMS using Freescale’s S12XE MCUs for the entry-level automotive market. This EMS will be used in Chery vehicles manufactured in production volume. Chery plans to migrate its next-generation EMS to 32-bit MCU technology and is eyeing Freescale’s MPC55xx family of Power Architecture MCUs.

Automotive manufacturing in China – the world's second largest automotive market after the United States – grew by more than 22% in 2007 to 8.8 million vehicle units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (www.caam.org.cn). China exported 413,500 finished vehicles, including cars, buses and trucks, in the first 10 months of 2007, up 64% from the same period of 2006, according to Commerce Ministry figures. The majority of China’s automotive exports target developing nations. According to the auto research firm J.D. Power and Associates (www.jdpower.com), China could overtake the United States as the world’s top automotive market some time after 2015.
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