NXP Semiconductors has announced a new microcontroller unit (MCU) solution for smart cars.
Called the Kinetis KW35/36, it’s a Bluetooth 5-ready MCU family featuring CAN-FD connectivity. And thanks to its AEC Q100-Grade 2 compliance – ensuring operation in the -40°C to +105°C temperature range – it’s uniquely well-suited to automotive applications.
In a statement announcing the solution, NXP Semiconductors emphasized the MCU family’s capability of enabling sophisticated smartphone connectivity with smart cars via Bluetooth, allowing end users to unlock their car, adjust settings, and even share keys using their mobile devices. NXP Microcontrollers VP Emmanuel Sambuis added that it’s “the industry’s first automotive-qualified BLE family of MCUs with CAN-FD allowing for easy integration into an auto in-vehicle communication network.”
The solution’s announcement arrives amid growing convergence between the tech and automotive sectors as the smart car concept continues to evolve. Toyota, for example, entered into a licensing agreement with Microsoft earlier this year and has just announced three new smart cars featuring sophisticated AI and biometric sensors; meanwhile Samsung recently announced a $300 million investment into smart car tech R&D.
NXP appears to be one of the suppliers already benefitting from this activity, reporting in its Q3 update this week that its automotive business saw an 11 percent year-over-year increase in revenues, which reached $948 million. As for its latest automotive solution, the Kinetis KW35/KW36 MCU family is now in sampling, and NXP says it will go into mass production in Q2 of next year.