Freescale Semiconductor offers communications processors, microcontrollers, embedded processors, sensors, RF components, analog/power-management technology, and supporting software for automotive, consumer, industrial and networking applications.
Freescale bases its PowerQUICC and QorIQ processors on Power Architecture cores. PowerQUICC and QorIQ processors provide data- and control-plane processing for wireless and wireline infrastructure, industrial control, enterprise networking, home and SOHO (small-office/home-office) networking, and pervasive computing markets. The company has sampled 11 QorIQ parts since January 2009.
Earlier this year, Freescale introduced its new 64-bit e5500 core designed to reach frequencies up to 2.5 GHz. Based on Power Architecture technology, the e5500 core includes enhancements to support many-core SoC implementations, as well as heterogeneous multicore processors capable of integrating StarCore and Power Architecture technologies in the same device. Utilizing the e5500 core are the new P5020 and P5010 processors, which offer Freescale's highest single-threaded performance for next-generation embedded control plane applications. With frequencies scaling to 2.2 GHz, the P5020 delivers an impressive 13,200 DMIPs in 30 Watts. Both P5 devices are pin-compatible with P4 and P3 platform products to provide seamless roadmap scalability from two 2.2 GHz cores up to four and eight 1.5 GHz cores.
Also introduced in 2010 was the new quad-core P3041 processor offering an advanced feature set leveraging Freescale's P4 platform technology and optimized for low power. The P3041 processor integrates four e500mc cores based on Power Architecture technology running up to 1.5 GHz at less than 12 watts, and delivers about 2.5 DMIPS/MHz. Key features include a three-level cache hierarchy for optimized latencies, a hardware hypervisor for robust support of multiple operating systems within the device, a trusted boot architecture to ensure code is not tampered with or reverse engineered, efficient data path handling, and improved Serial RapidIO and SATA IP.
Freescale also introduced this year new processors at the P1 and P2 levels of the QorIQ platform. The P1023/1017 and P2040 communications processors extend Freescale's DPAA technology to all QorIQ platform levels, spanning single-core to eight-core products and across frequencies from 400MHz to 2.2 GHz. The P1023/P1017 are highly integrated dual- and single-core devices which are suited for high performance 802.11N wireless LAN access points, SMB gateways and low-end fixed routers. The P2040 is a cost- and power-optimized quad-core device targeting fixed routers, Long Term Evolution (LTE) channel cards, and enterprise security applications.
The company expanded its 32-bit microcontroller portfolio with the introduction of 200+ Kinetis ARM Cortex-M4 microcontrollers and ColdFire+ microcontrollers both based on 90nm Thin Film Storage Flash technology with FlexMemory, rich mixed-signal integration and ultra-low power consumption to target general purpose industrial and consumer applications.
Two new microcontroller families target the smart metering market. The ColdFire MCF51EM256 microcontroller combines an embedded LCD controller, 16-bit ADC and metrology-specific peripherals optimized for smart meter applications. The MC9S08GW combines two independent 16-bit SAR ADCs with a programmable delay block and a pulse counter with automatic sensor decoding for gas and water flow meters make this family ideal for electric metering applications.
Two new microcontroller families address the medical market. The Flexis MM family and Flexis JE family offer 8- and 32-bit compatibility, feature ultra-low power operation, USB connectivity, and high measurement accuracy suitable for medical applications. The fourth-generation MC1323x device family is a 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee-ready solution combines an IEEE 802.15.4 radio with an HCS08-QE core to target consumer electronics, wireless control, and monitoring applications.
Three new automotive products were also announced this year. The S08SC4 is an 8-bit microcontroller that is suitable for cost sensitive and space constrained applications, such as push-button control, simple lighting, mirror dimming and basic motor control. The MPC5125 32-bit microprocessor is a highly integrated SoC (System-on-Chip) device and features dual Ethernet, dual universal serial bus (USB), four CAN interfaces and a graphical display controller capable of supporting display resolutions up to 720p/WXGA. The MPC5607B, MPC5606B and MPC5605B are the latest devices added to the MPC560xB family of 32-bit microcontrollers built on Power Architecture technology for body applications. It offers more flash memory of up to 1.5 MB, 16-channel direct memory access and an additional package, the 176LQFP.
In late 2009, Freescale introduced its latest 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) based on Power Architecture technology for automotive safety solutions. The MPC564xL family helps engineers address the challenge of applying sophisticated safety concepts to comply with current and future safety standards. Target applications would include electric power steering for improved vehicle efficiency, active suspension for improved dynamics and ride performance, anti-lock braking systems, and radar for adaptive cruise control.
Freescale bases its i.MX application processors on ARM core technology. The devices target multimedia applications for consumer, industrial and automotive markets. In 2010, Freescale introduced the i.MX508 applications processor that targets the eReader market by integrating ARM Cortex-A8 technology together with the newest hardware-based display controller from E Ink. The i.MX508 processor supports panel resolutions up to 2048 x1536 pixels at 106 hertz.