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Spansion and Freescale Innovate to Enable Rich Human Machine Interfaces for Automotive Instrument Clusters and Industrial Applications

Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a leading innovator in Flash memory solutions for embedded markets,  today announced that Freescale Semiconductor has selected Spansion serial peripheral interface (SPI) Flash memory to provide its new Vybrid automotive and industrial solutions platforms with a simplified, high-bandwidth memory subsystem.  Industrial applications, like home energy management systems, and automotive instrument clusters are embracing high-resolution TFT (thin film transistor) displays to elevate the user experience and connect people with important data.  Offering over 45% faster bandwidth than competing solutions, Spansion supports up to 80MB/s double data rate (DDR) performance, making it the ideal choice for high levels of interactivity.

Automotive OEMs are requiring instant-on performance for instrument clusters to significantly improve safety and driving experiences. These new digital displays completely replace the main cluster panel with a display for conventional instrumentation, informatics and increased safety and hazard warning features.  Drivers gain better visibility of their surroundings, such as the ability to display warnings of pedestrians in blind spots; assist with parking and provide safety information such as a road hazard warning. Other upcoming safety features will include the potential to display in several modes, such as a Night View option, where the cluster's infrared night vision system scans for pedestrian shapes and highlights them with yellow boxes.

"Freescale and Spansion have collaborated on three generations of instrument cluster solutions which is resulting in very high performance, cost efficient systems for our mutual customers," said Luke Smithwick, Freescale's driver information and infotainment operations manager. "With Vybrid automotive solution's support for dual channel quad I/O DDR SPI devices, we can raise read performance in the system up to 160MB/s.  This capability allows systems to execute code directly from the serial Flash without the need for DRAM in the system and quickly serve graphics for responsive user interfaces."

Spansion FL Serial Flash memory is designed for automotive and industrial applications with a wide temperature range of -40 degrees C to 105 degrees C, high reliability, long-term product availability and support for the highest densities up to 1 Gb today.  The industry-leading performance capabilities of the family deliver direct benefits to customers, including 3X faster programming performance to reduce manufacturing costs and 45% faster DDR read speeds for more responsive systems and a better user experience.

"Spansion is investing in high performance, high density serial Flash solutions which allow our partners and customers to design in more features at a lower cost," said Wendy Kadlec, director of ecosystem marketing at Spansion. "Spansion and Freescale are enabling automotive and industrial designers to create powerful, feature-rich, cost-effective systems that are creating a more compelling experience."

Freescale's Vybrid solutions platform brings to market a family of devices that at the entry level provides, low-power, single-chip solution for application processing, and at the high-end provides customers a way to combine rich applications requiring high-resolution graphical displays and connectivity.  The solution is suitable for a broad range of industrial applications, including: smart grid and smart metering, factory automation, home appliances, building control, point of sale terminals and kiosks and diagnostic medical devices.

The Spansion FL Serial Flash memory family is also supported by the Freescale PX Series of Power Architecture® microcontrollers for industrial applications.  For automotive instrument clusters, Spansion serial Flash memory has been supported by Freescale Qorriva® MPC560xS and MPC5645S families which are used broadly today by many leading automotive manufacturers.  Designers can prototype with Spansion Flash memory by leveraging the Freescale Tower System.  The TWR-PXD10 and TWR-PXD20 MCU modules support industrial applications using the Freescale PX microcontroller.  For other MCU/MPU modules that feature an external memory interface, designers can prototype with Spansion parallel NOR or Serial NOR Flash memory by leveraging a Spansion-designed peripheral module, the TWR-MEM-PISMO module, from Freescale.   

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