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On Electronics - Feb. 2009

Skyping from the CarVisteon Corp. has a new entertainment system with a more flexible programming platform and more powerful microprocessor core to keep pace with the race of mobile consumer electronics and Internet applications.


Skyping from the Car
Visteon Corp. has a new entertainment system with a more flexible programming platform and more powerful microprocessor core to keep pace with the race of mobile consumer electronics and Internet applications. Using a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) as a foundation, the new platform was created to translate software originally written for cell phones and the Internet to Visteon’s entertainment systems. Key to that rapid translation is the system's browser data compression technology that reduces data downloads for new system applications. Visteon also is designing Java-based software, allowing users to access to various texting tools, such as MSN Messenger and Google Chat, as well as Skype, an Internet-enabled video chatting service that connects users via webcams. USB ports allow manufacturers to upgrade the system software as new consumer electronics come to market.


NEC Electronics 32-bit microcontroller unit
NEC Electronics 32-bit microcontroller unit has more memory and speed to support a wider variety of audio and navigation applications.
NEC Microcontroller Adds Memory, Speed
NEC Electronics (Kawaski, Japan; www.am.necel.com) is offering a new 32-bit microcontroller unit (MCU) with increased memory and speed to support more audio and navigation applications. Sized at 0.5-mm square, the MCU is intended for multi-functional entertainment systems, including CD and DVD systems, as well as USB readers. It comes with 1.5 megabytes of flash memory (1.5 times more capacity than the previous generation) and clocks in at 48 MHz (up from 32 MHz). Demo units are available. NEC will begin production in November 2009.

Melexis’ Microcontroller Pegs HEV Improvement
Melexis Microelectronic Integrated Systems launches its second-generation microcontroller for brushless DC (BLDC) motors that manage accessory electronics for engine start/stop and full hybrid electric powertrains. The MLX81200—a 16 bit microcontroller includes a 30-kb Flash program memory and a high-voltage analog periphery for BLDC motor control. The microcontroller operates the motor to reduce battery drain when the engine stops and to balance functions such as water pumps, transmission oil pumps, active suspension control, engine cooling fans and HVAC blowers.
Blaupunkt’s prototype in-dash Internet radio
Blaupunkt’s prototype in-dash Internet radio, with web-streamed stations provided by miRoamer, is due out in late 2009 or early 2010
Internet on the Radio
Streaming Internet radio in your car has pretty much been a kludge or something sourced from the aftermarket. However, this will change late this year or early next when Bosch-owned stereo maker Blaupunkt (www.Blaupunkt.com) looks to be the first with an in-dash Internet radio system as an option in a “high end German” 2010 model. Partnering with streaming Internet radio service miRoamer (www.miroamer.com) the radio will be available in one of two new Blaupunkt models, the New Jersey 600i or Hamburg 600i. The system, integrated with Bluetooth, connects to the Internet via the user’s own 3G mobile device, which enables the radio to tune in hundreds of Internet channels.

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