Electronic Design

Freescale MCUs Control GM Hybrid SUVs

Freescale Semiconductor is supplying General Motors with advanced microcontroller technology (MCU) for the GM Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon hybrids, the only full-size hybrid SUVs. The power inverter module used in the two vehicles is controlled by Freescale’s 32-bit Power Architecture MCUs.

The smooth, uninterrupted blending of power between the electric motor and gasoline or diesel engine requires powerful computer controls to calculate and conduct complex functions. All of the switching is controlled by the power train control units and the software, which monitor driving and select the proper transmission mode.

GM, Chrysler, Mercedes, and BMW Group co-developed the two-mode full hybrid system, which leverages automatic transmission technology and electronic controls in an integrated, powerful, and compact system used with both gasoline and diesel engines. GM’s two-mode hybrid transmission boosts the fuel economy of the SUVs and large luxury vehicles by up to 50% in city driving compared to traditional gasoline engines. Based on the GM-Allison hybrid system for city buses, the patented hybrid technology is equally optimized for city and highway driving, unlike other production hybrid systems, which generally are optimized for city driving.

“With the introduction of the world’s first full-size hybrid SUVs, GM is pioneering a niche in the automotive market that’s in step with today’s growing concerns about the environment and global warming,” said Paul Grimme, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller Solutions Group. “We're proud that Freescale technology is helping make these innovative, fuel-efficient SUVs a reality in the market.”

Freescale Semiconductor

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