Two of the automotive electronics industry’s largest suppliers have joined forces to provide dual sources of supply for 32-bit microcontrollers, flash memory, and high-voltage power MOSFETs and IGBTs.
Freescale and STMicroelectronics will form a joint microcontroller design team, share basic intellectual property for automotive and navigation applications, and align their 90 nm embedded flash process technologies. The firms will leverage Freescale PowerPC cores and STMicro high-voltage devices.
The jointly managed design team will be located near Munich, and will initially employ approximately 100 design engineers. The collaborative effort will define, manage and design products to complement each company’s roadmap. Both firms will manufacture the microcontrollers using aligned process technologies, starting at 90 nm, and market them independently. Target applications for the MCUs range from engine and transmission control to driver information and advanced safety systems. STMicro and Freescale have worked together since 2002 within the Crolles2 Alliance, which is focused on advanced semiconductor processing technologies.
STMicro spokesman Mike Markowitz said some 32-bit designs would transition to PowerPC. STMicro’s ST40 family of 32-bit MCUs are based on SuperH cores. Freescale will use ST’s high-power technologies for applications such as hybrid electric vehicles.
“Typically, companies form agreements and carve out separate niches,” Markowitz said. “Our aim in this is to increase the overlap in our product offerings.