Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) and Alps Electric Co. of Japan announced their commitment to work together to develop automotive infotainment and telematics solutions based on the Freescale i.MX 6 series of applications processors. Alps Electric Co.’s market-proven, automotive-qualified connectivity modules will leverage the rich peripheral I/O available on high-performance and scalable i.MX 6 series applications processors to provide comprehensive platforms targeting next-generation driver information systems.
With this collaboration, automakers and tier one suppliers of infotainment and telematics systems can access a broad range of ready-to-use, cost-effective connectivity solutions for their next-generation systems using Freescale i.MX 6 series applications processors. ALPS solutions based on i.MX 6 series silicon, as well as the Freescale SABRE platform for automotive infotainment, are sampling for HD, DAB radio, AM/FM radio and Bluetooth®/WLAN combination modules. Offerings for 2G/3G/LTE, GNSSTM module and other technologies are planned for the near future.
As automobiles continue to evolve into the ultimate smart mobile device, connectivity options have grown increasingly important. Consumer demand is strong for in-vehicle displays that enable safe and convenient access to and control of the content and features of their smartphones, tablets and mobile music players. Successful next-generation infotainment and telematics systems must go beyond connectivity for commonly used features like AM/FM and Bluetooth to also support onboard network connectivity with WLAN and digital radio (HD/DAB).
Advancing automotive connectivity in this manner presents systems designers with new and unique challenges, which Freescale and ALPS are working to solve. The result is a range of solutions designed to dramatically speed and simplify the development of connected, highly compelling automotive displays.
A longtime leader in automotive silicon, Freescale supplies infotainment and telematics applications processors to six of the top 10 automotive OEMs. The company’s i.MX 6 series products integrate a rich set of peripheral I/Os and drivers to support numerous operating systems. The Freescale SABRE platform for automotive infotainment based on i.MX 6 processors is planned for availability in November 2012.
ALPS has a proven track record of supplying world-class automotive connectivity solutions to top automotive OEMs worldwide. Leveraging this expertise, ALPS has developed independent modular connectivity solutions that can be used with Freescale i.MX 6 series silicon and the SABRE platform for automotive infotainment very early in the evaluation process. ALPS provides systems designers the option of production-level connectivity modules, or an integrated board solution from Freescale and ALPS, which seamlessly integrates hardware design support, driver development and communication stacks.
“Our i.MX 6 series of automotive applications processors provide optimal performance and best-in-class graphics for automotive infotainment and telematics applications,” said David M. Uze, a Freescale vice president and president of Freescale Semiconductor Japan. “The comprehensive lineup of ALPS connectivity modules enhances the capabilities of our i.MX 6 series products and SABRE platform for automotive infotainment. By collaborating closely with ALPS, our joint customers can leverage advanced design solutions engineered to unleash innovation and compelling new functionalities for end-users.”
Leveraging its heritage of high-frequency circuit and simulation technologies, ALPS has developed the UGKZ2 series automotive Bluetooth/WLAN combination module and extended its proven portfolio of DAB and HD radio tuners, which are combined with Freescale’s SABRE platform for automotive infotainment to help customers reduce development cycles and better address market needs. ALPS is also developing GNSS and LTE modules based on Freescale silicon and plans to release them in the near future.
“In working closely with Freescale Semiconductor, ALPS continues to evolve its connectivity offerings to address the rapidly changing demands of the automotive infotainment market segment,” said Yoshitada Amagishi, director and general manager of ALPS’ Engineering Division. “Through our collaboration, we are able to bring a flexible and modular lineup of ready-to-use connectivity solutions to be used in conjunction with Freescale’s latest range of i.MX automotive application processors.”
The connectivity solutions developed by ALPS based on Freescale processors are:
FM/AM tuner: Samples available now
HD radio: Samples available now
DAB tuner: Samples available now
Bluetooth/WLAN combination module: Samples available now
GNSS module: Samples planned for availability in April 2013
2G/3G/LTE module: Samples planned for availability in Q4 2013
About the Freescale i.MX 6 series
The i.MX 6 series includes single-, dual- and quad-core families based on the ARM® Cortex™-A9 architecture, and together with a robust ecosystem, provides the ideal platform to develop a portfolio of end devices based on a single hardware design. With high-performance multimedia processing, pin- and software- compatible product families and integrated power management, the i.MX 6 series is purpose-built for the new era of automotive infotainment, reconfigurable graphics instrument clusters and smart consumer devices.
Alps Electric is a leading electronics component manufacturer, and since its foundation in 1948 has supplied around 40,000 types of electronic components to over 2,000 manufacturers of home appliances, mobile devices, automobiles, and industrial equipment all over the world. ALPS has developed proprietary high-frequency circuit and simulation technologies and is committed to promote innovations and to identify market needs and technological trends. Therefore, they can develop and deliver optimized products through quick and precise responses to customer needs and their changes. Currently, ALPS focuses on development of power-efficient “green” devices to support the creation of low-carbon, digital societies. For more information, visit www.alps.com.
Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL) is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, providing industry leading products that are advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. From microprocessors and microcontrollers to sensors, integrated circuits and connectivity – our technologies are the foundation for the innovations that make our world greener, safer, more connected. Some of our key applications and end-markets include automotive safety, hybrid and all-electric vehicles, next wireless infrastructure, smart energy management, portable medical devices, consumer appliances and smart mobile devices. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world. www.freescale.com
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