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On Electronics - June 2013

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Delphi, Verizon: Car Meets Cloud

In yet another car meets cloud device, Verizon Wireless (verizonwireless.com) and Delphi Automotive (delphi.com) are now selling the Vehicle Diagnostics By Delphi tool, that lets owners keep even closer tabs on their ride. 

The $250 device (plus activation fee) lets owners use their smartphone, tablet or computer to track, locate and unlock their car. The system works with vehicles starting in the 1996 model year to today. It provides alerts when the car exits certain “geo-fences,” or pre-selected boundaries, summarizes all trips from engine start to stop, connects smartphones to vehicles via fob commands, and monitors the car’s vital health signs. 

The system operates through a Delphi smartphone app that’s currently available for Android 2.2 and above, Apple iOS 5.0 and later, as well on as a Delphi website. Data transmitted through the Delphi connectivity system is encrypted when sent over the Verizon Wireless network. 

The Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi device streams real time data about a car’s location and other functions over a Verizon Wireless network to a smartphone app. 

 

Faster ‘FlexRay’ Transceivers 

The car is communicating with the driver, but to do so, it has to communicate with its myriad fellow sensors … quickly. 

NXP Semiconductors (nxp.com) says its FlexRay transceivers, which are customized for driver assistance, chassis, and powertrain sensors, make communication with the car’s electronic control units possible at a pace of 10 megabytes per second. That speed, according to NXP, is why the new transceivers, the TJA1083, TJA1085 and TJA1086, are complementary with rapid transceiver technologies such as Ethernet connections. That speed also makes them well-suited to infotainment applications as well as making the vehicle more responsive and fuel efficient.

The TJA1083 is a FlexRay “clamp 15” node transceiver in a compact TSSOP14 package, while the TJA1085 and TJA1086 are both FlexRay active star couplers. 

Meanwhile, NXP announced that it and the auto focused Cohda Wireless are joining the Car 2 Car Communication pact. That memorandum of understanding aims to set standards for wireless communication between cars and traffic infrastructure in Europe. The two firms are the first auto-motive electronics suppliers to sign on, joining 12 OEMs.

 

Under the new technology brand RoadLINK, NXP and Cohda Wireless are introducing and marketing a total Car-to-X radio and security solution for its on-board units and road-side units. Cohda’s patented advanced reception technology enhances wireless communications to quality levels far beyond commercial off-the-shelf receivers and transmitters using the IEEE 802.11 communication standard. NXP contributes the hardware platform based on its long-proven expertise in software-defined radio, high-performance mixed-signal RF tuners, and security technologies. 

Infineon and Global Foundries Going Nano 

 
Infineon Technologies (infineon.com) and Globalfoundries Inc. (Globalfoundries.com) are thinking big by aiming small. The two firms have linked up to design and produce a 40-nanometer embedded flash (e-flash) process technology for automotive microcontrollers.
 
The companies will focus on advancing Infineon’s current e-flash cell design, while production of the eFlash-based controllers will take place at different Globalfoundries’ sites in Singapore and later in Dresden, Germany. Production is set for the first half of 2017. 
 

TI’s Faster ‘SPIN’ 

 
Texas Instruments’ (ti.com) InstaSPIN-MOTION software tames (or unleashes, as the case may be) torque, speed and motion in various motor control design applications. The software package helps systems designers avoid tedious tuning processes and limited operating ranges. 
 
TI promises improved motion and efficiency for advanced motor control designs in minutes. InstaSPIN-MOTION is available on TI’s 90 MHz, 32-bit floating point Piccolo F2806xM microcontrollers. 
 
The system is based on TI’s InstaSPIN™-FOC motor control solution and designed to optimize complex motion sequences such as reducing tuning to a single parameter and tracking predetermined trajectories. Unveiled earlier this year, the InstaSPIN-FOC solution integrates the company’s FAST software sensor for rotor flux measurement and provides motor identification, automatic current control tuning and sensorless feedback.   
 

 

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