FREIBURG, Germany -- Micronas Semiconductor Holding AG today announced it has licensed the ARM7TDMI processor core from Arm Ltd. in the U.K. to serve a range of next-generation automotive applications, including powerful dashboard controllers.
The company said it is working with strategic partner Mannesmann VDO AG (Vehicle Controls Inc.) to create new ICs for consumer and automotive applications. Micronas claimed it and VDO currently control more than 10% of the world's dashboard controller market, and it said the Arm RISC cores will be used to expand the combined product lines from the two companies.
"The members of the new IC family will be adjustable to the specific requirements of different applications which leads to highly scaleable solutions," explained Klaus Heberle, vice president of automotive applications at Micronas. "The ARM cores are perfect for this role and will scale in both capability and flexibility to meet current and f uture needs. This translates into the capability of building both relatively simple and highly demanding systems for reasonable cost, leading to reduced development efforts, especially over a vast array of applications."
Dashboard controllers are responsible for a wide variety of control functions, from audio and entertainment systems to communications and vehicle navigation products. Micronas offers a series of ICs with two on-chip digital signal processors (DSPs), which enable different audio channels to be received by different passengers in a car.
Micronas said it is planning a new family of controllers will offer a higher degree of flexibility for integration of various functional blocks. This will enable chip customers to customize their multimedia platforms for automotive markets, said the company.