STMicroelectronics and Freescale Partner on Power

February 12, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Freescale Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics have teamed up to establish a wide-ranging initiative to reinforce their respective strengths in automotive applications. The two companies will create a joint microcontroller design team, align process technologies and share intellectual property, including high-power MOS technologies.

The agreement between the companies covers high-performance, cost-effective 32-bit microcontrollers based on PowerPC® cores; the basic Intellectual-Property (IP) for automotive and navigation applications; alignment of 90-nm embedded Flash process technology; and high-voltage Power MOSFET and IGBT technologies.

The jointly designed products will use the market-proven PowerPC architecture with ST and Freescale's well-established expertise in embedded Flash, providing robust and cost-effective solutions to customers. At the same time, Freescale will use ST's high-power technologies for applications such as hybrid electric vehicles.

The new microcontrollers resulting from the joint efforts of the two companies will meet industry demand for more power and enhanced intelligence to drive control-intensive products in all segments of automotive electronic systems. Target applications include high-volume solutions for engine and transmission control up through multiprocessing capabilities for fault-tolerant systems required by applications such as Drive- and Brake-by-Wire, advanced vehicle control and driver information systems.

The joint design program will be co-managed by the companies and will be headquartered in the Munich area. The project will initially combine the expertise of more than 100 existing designers from the two companies, and will define, manage and design products to complement each company's ongoing independent roadmaps. ST and Freescale will manufacture the microcontrollers using aligned process technologies, starting at 90-nanometers, and will market them independently, assuring a dual source and securing a better supply of these devices for customers.