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What will the new NXP-Freescale company look like?

Posted: 08 May 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:connected car  merger  smart car  SDR  V2X 

What will become of the new company that will be formed once the NXP-Freescale merger is complete? NXP Vice President Lars Reger recently gave details of the company's vision of the Connected Car at the CDN Live Cadence user meeting. His speech also offered insights regarding the distribution of topics and responsibilities in the company after the merger.

Reger subdivided the functionality of future automotive electronics landscapes into three major segments: Sense, Think, Act.

The Sense segment covers functionalities such as radar, V2X, Smart Car access or the radio receiver in the infotainment system, not just the good old AM/FM receiver but also Software Defined Radio (SDR) approaches for future digital communication channels. The Think segment comprises more or less all forms of signal processing, while the Act zone includes displays, brake and steer controls, and audio amplifiers. Coincidence or not, this description coincides pretty well with NXPs profile as a chip vendor.

Connected Car

Business opportunities in the Connected Car, according to NXP. The white fields are claimed by NXP; grey blocks will be covered by Freescale.

Based on its product and expertise portfolio, Freescale will be working on fields like camera and lidar signal processing as well as the demanding area of sensor fusion. Entertainment apps, display drivers as well controls for vehicle functions like steering and braking will also fall into Freescale's responsibility.

This is why we have to take over Freescale, said Reger. It remains unclear how the responsibility for data bus devices will be distributed across the merged company. After all, Freescale was one of the leading drivers to integrate Ethernet into vehicles, a field that also NXP is claiming. The Dutch chipmaker already has a range of devices for CAN and FlexRay systems and has great plans for Ethernet.

Yes, it is possible to get 100Mbit/s over unshielded twisted pair wire, Reger said, adding that the company is developing its own PHY chip, which will excel through higher integration, enabling users to build Ethernet-connected control units with fewer parts. Ethernet will be a big trend in the next four to five years, he said, adding the enigmatic remark especially for the new carmakers in California.

Reger left open which Californian carmakers he was talking about, so listeners could guess if his remark referred to Google, Tesla or even Apple (who obviously has activities in the automotive area) or perhaps all of them together.

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