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FlexRay controller delivers 10Mbps over two channels

Posted: 22 Sep 2005     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fujitsu microelectronics  fma  flexray  controller 

Fujitsu Microelectronics America Inc.'s (FMA) FlexRay controller supports FlexRay version 2.0. Based on IP developed by Robert Bosch GmbH, the MB88121 delivers 10Mbps over two channels.

The chip complements all of the existing standard automotive buses, including the Controller Area Network (CAN) and Local Interconnect Network (LIN). FlexRay-based technology, which can provide approximately 10 times the throughput of CAN, is expected to gradually replace CAN as automakers and their suppliers adopt x-by-wire solutions in new generations of vehicles. The device provides fault-tolerant, deterministic data transmission, which is suitable for the engine control, braking and steering subsystems now being introduced using the FlexRay protocol. Fujitsu has been a member of the FlexRay Consortium.

"This new FlexRay communication controller incorporates all the features and capabilities required to spur significant production of FlexRay systems by vehicle makers and automotive-equipment manufacturers," said Keith Horn, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Fujitsu Microelectronics America. "Embedding FlexRay IP into real silicon will allow early adapters to design a range of automotive electronic-control applications at production grade."

The MB88121 can be connected directly to existing CPUs, enabling the development of production systems that use a next-generation network, while simultaneously maximizing the performance of equipment already in the vehicle. Internal speeds reach 80MHz, with a 4-, 5-, 8- or 10MHz external oscillator, or by external clock. The chip's parallel interface affords a maximum frequency of 33MHz.

The MB88121 is available now in production quantities with prices beginning under $5 each. It is packaged in an LQFP-64. Fujitsu is now planning a 48-pin version for future release.

FlexRay is a high-speed serial communication system using point-to-point links over unshielded or shielded twisted pair cable. It features fault tolerance and provides deterministic data transmission at a baud rate of between 500kbps to 10Mbps with a 24-bit CRC. FlexRay is a time-triggered bus, enabling electronic systems to communicate continually in pre-defined time slots.

Fujitsu said it will maintain its strong commitment to the FlexRay technology by continuing to develop FlexRay enabled components. In 2006, the company plans to begin sampling a new microcontroller with the FlexRay IP built around Fujitsu's FR microprocessor core.

- Marty Gold


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