Auto Electronics

NEC unveils Fx MCUs for body and safety electronics

NEC Electronics America Inc. has introduced two microcontroller families for automotive body and safety control applications, the 8-bit Fx2 series based on the 78K0 CPU core, and the 32-bit Fx3 series, based on the V850ES.

The Fx devices for body and safety complement Sx and Dx series MCUs introduced earlier this year for audio and dashboard applications respectively. The Fx families, which together include 29 models, are pin-compatible with NEC Electronics' previous-generation 78K0/Fx1+ and V850ES/Fx2 MCUs (44 to 176 pins), to ease migration.

"To implement better functionality, original equipment manufacturers and tier-one system suppliers require application-specific semiconductor solutions that integrate special functionality optimized for body and safety applications to help reduce system cost and development time,” said Jim Trent, NEC Electronics America associate vice president and general manager of its automotive strategic business unit.

“As a result of increased sophistication in automotive heaters and air conditioners, wiper controllers, power windows, sliding doors, seat controllers, smart keyless entry devices, anti-theft mechanisms, intelligent airbag systems and the like, system designers require electronic components that can support the growing functionality of automotive body and safety control systems,” added NEC Electronics America director of marketing David Stone.

Fabricated on NEC’s 0.15 µm process technology, the new devices support CAN and LIN protocols – up to five channels of CAN for the V850-based devices – and have embedded flash memory configurations ranging from 32 kB to 1 MB. Stone noted that the smaller geometry also results in lower power consumption and less leakage current.

NEC Electronics America is expanding its semiconductor manufacturing capabilities in Roseville, California, to add a 0.15 µm process using eight-inch wafers in addition to its current 0.35 µm and 0.25 µm processes, which use six-inch wafers.

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