Freescale Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics, collaborating on Power Architecture automotive microcontrollers, said they have achieved first silicon from their respective wafer fabs in Austin, Texas and Agrate Brianza (Milan) Italy.
Manufactured on the companies’ aligned 90-nanometer (nm) embedded-flash technology, the chips target powertrain, body electronics, instrument cluster, and safety/chassis applications. Lead automotive customers will receive samples of the jointly developed MCU products throughout the first quarter. The companies plan to provide general automotive market product information, pricing and availability for the dual-sourced products later this year. They say that customer interest is strong, and that samples will support demand in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Japan and the United States.
Denis Griot, chairman of Freescale EMEA and global automotive marketing, said the system-on-chip platform enables the firms to quickly develop multiple automotive products incorporating optimized peripheral sets and embedded flash memory, fine-tuned for specific automotive applications.
Marco Maria Monti, vice president and general manager of ST’s Powertrain and Safety Division, said the initial four automotive MCUs are the first in a product roadmap that the firms plan to extend through ongoing work at joint design centers in Naples, Agrate, Sao Paulo and New Delhi’s National Capital Region. Staffed by more than 150 design engineers, these design centers are focused on developing next-generation MCU products optimized for specific automotive market segments.