STMicroelectronics and Freescale, two leading semiconductor suppliers to the automotive industry, are teaming up to establish a wide-ranging initiative to reinforce their respective strengths in automotive applications. The two companies will create a joint microcontroller design team, align process technologies and share intellectual property, including high power MOS technologies.

The agreement between the companies covers high performance, cost-effective 32-bit microcontrollers based on PowerPC® cores; the basic IP for automotive and navigation applications; alignment of 90 nm embedded Flash process technology; and high voltage power MOSFET and IGBT technologies.

The new microcontrollers resulting from the joint efforts of the two companies will meet industry demand for more power and enhanced intelligence to drive control-intensive products in all segments of automotive electronic systems. Target applications include advanced vehicle control and driver information systems and high volume solutions for engine and transmission control up through multiprocessing capabilities for fault-tolerant systems.

The joint design program will be co-managed by the companies and will be headquartered in the Munich area. The project will initially combine the expertise of more than 100 existing designers from the two companies, and will define, manage and design products to complement each company’s ongoing independent roadmaps. The two companies will manufacture the microcontrollers using aligned process technologies, starting at 90 nm, and will market them independently, assuring a dual source and securing a better supply of these devices for customers.