Auto Electronics

Freescale unveils TPMS, applications processors and entry-level MCU

During its Technology Forum in Tokyo this week, Freescale Semiconductor introduced a tire pressure monitoring system based on a capacitive pressure sensor, formally introduced the application processor that drives the Ford SYNC infotainment system, and unwrapped a family of 8-bit, 8-pin MCUs for cost-sensitive automotive applications.

Freescale said its MPXY8300 tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is among the first to use a capacitive pressure sensor for precise sensing with very low power consumption for battery life beyond 10 years.

The MPXY8300 is said to help reduce development cycle time, component count and system cost by combining the necessary digital, analog and sensor functions of a TPMS – the capacitive sensor, an 8-bit microcontroller (with 512b RAM and 16 KB flash), optional single- or dual-axis accelerometer, and a radio-frequency (RF) transmitter with an integrated 315/434 MHz charge pump – in a single package (a 20-pin SOIC wide body).

In the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires new vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds to include TPMS technology by model year 2008. TPMS also is becoming a driver safety requirement in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Designed for wheel-mounted applications, Freescale’s MPXY8300 instantly notifies drivers when any individual tire (including the spare) is not at the optimal pressure level.

The MPXY8300 system offers precise, real-time tire pressure measurement using direct monitoring at each wheel. Versions are available with a 100-800 kPa sensing range for passenger cars and a 100-1500 kPa range for heavy duty trucks. Both versions can be programmed to transmit measurements at certain tire rotation speeds and even when the tires are not rotating at all.

Other features of the MPXY8300 include two-channel LF input with detector/decoder; overtemperature shutdown; supply voltage measurement; a low-power wake-up timer and periodic reset driver by low-frequency oscillations, and an integrated filter design for media protection in harsh vehicle environments.

The device operates within a -40 °C to +125 °C temperature range. In 10k quantities, prices range from $5.22 for a passenger car unit without an accelerometer to $9.64 for a version for heavy trucks that includes a XZ-axis accelerometer. The parts are sampling now and expected to be in production in Q2 2008.

Freescale this week formally introduced the i.MX31 applications processors that power the SYNC in-car communication and entertainment system, which is due for rollout by Ford later this month. Freescale announced the SYNC design win earlier this year.

Based on the ARM11 platform and packaged in a 473-MAPBGA with 0.8mm pitch, the low-power, AEC Q100-qualified processors support applications such as hands-free phone operation, voice recognition, rear-view camera and viewfinder control, and high-speed voice and media data transfers.

The devices operate at up to 400 MHz and feature a vector floating-point unit, dedicated multimedia accelerators, and a memory architecture that includes L-2 cache. They run on operating systems and application frameworks including Microsoft Auto, Linux, QNX Neutrino, and other leading RTOSes.

The i.MX31 processor family also features a 6x5 Smart Speed crossbar switch designed to achieve system parallelism, resulting in low effective cycles per instruction (eCPI) and greater power efficiency. The switch reduces wait states and enables the devices to achieve performance equivalent to that of processors with clock speeds up to 3 GHz without the power consumption penalty that goes with higher operating frequencies.

Prices in 10k quantities are $21.80 for the i.MX31LC and $24.86 for the i.MX31C, which includes an on-chip 3-D graphics accelerator.
Freescale’s Semiconductor new S08QD family of 8-bit, 5 V microcontrollers in 8-pin SOIC packages targets cost-sensitive in-vehicle applications that require higher voltages. The MCUs can be used for HVAC dampeners, mirror dimming, actuators, sensors/meters, watchdogs, push button control, and other entry-level, general-purpose automotive applications.

Pin-compatible with Freescale’s SG and EL MCU series, the S08QD devices feature a 16 MHz HCS08 CPU, up to 4 KB of flash, and up to 256 bytes of RAM. The devices integrate a four-channel, 10-bit analog-to-digital controller with an automatic compare function, and an internal clock source (ICS) module that contains a frequency-locked loop (FLL) controlled by an internal or external reference. A complimentary special edition of Freescale’s CodeWarrior Development Studio, optimized for S08 core MCUs, is available for download at no cost.

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