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NXP releases FlexRay transceiver for automotive apps

Posted: 07 Dec 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NXP  FlexRay  TJA1080  transceiver  automotive 

NXP has announced the availability a FlexRay transceiver touted to be the world's first—the TJA1080. The transceiver, together with NXP's fail-safe system basis chips, is now used in the new BMW X5, the first series production car with a FlexRay system.

With the high-speed FlexRay network communications system, car makers can introduce advanced features that are transforming safety and comfort in the car. The BMW X5 is the first sports activity vehicle (SAV) to feature AdaptiveDrive, which combines active roll stabilisation and electronic damping control to enable a level of safety, comfort and agility unprecedented in its class. The FlexRay system enables AdaptiveDrive to process and transmit very large amounts of data on changing driving and road conditions at extremely high speeds for dynamic control of the anti-roll bars and dampers.

Enhanced safety
"Vehicle safety is significantly enhanced with the TJA1080, as active safety systems are able to leverage the high-speed interaction between electronic control units in a FlexRay network," said Toni Versluijs, business development manager, NXP. "With the TJA1080 now on the road with the BMW X5, both drivers and passengers can enjoy the enhanced performance and safety features enabled by FlexRay."

Addressing car manufacturers' need for faster, fault-tolerant communication and flexible and scalable electronic networks, the TJA1080 transceiver supports a wide range of MCUs, including the NXP SJA25xx family, which provides an integrated solution for FlexRay applications. NXP said it is currently the only semiconductor supplier that can offer a complete system solution for FlexRay applications, consisting of MCUs and transceivers.

The TJA1080 is flexible and can be configured as a node transceiver or as an active star transceiver with only one device. The result is faster and simplified development of complete FlexRay networks with robust communication due to excellent EMC performance, the company said, as well as extensive error diagnosis and protection mechanisms.

Favoured protocol
FlexRay has become the favoured protocol of carmakers for high-end vehicle networks for several reasons. First, it is fault tolerant and time triggered, providing reliable, on-time delivery of messages for safety relevant applications. In addition, FlexRay is flexible and allows for a large freedom of network topologies ranging from point-to-point to both passive-bus and active-star topologies. Finally, it has over 20-fold more gross bandwidth than CAN, the bus used in existing chassis and powertrain applications.

The development of the TJA1080 transceiver is the result of NXP's extensive collabouration with key players in the automotive industry from the FlexRay Consortium. NXP and BMW are founding members of the FlexRay Consortium, and have been leading the development of the FlexRay Electrical PHY specification for years.

The TJA1080 FlexRay transceiver is available today in volume production.

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