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Texas Instruments Enhances Automotive Safety With First IEC 61508 Compliant Processor Solution

Meeting the Industry's Most Stringent Safety Standards Allows Manufacturers to Further Reduce System Complexity and Cost

Nov 7, 2006

HOUSTON (November 7, 2006) – Accelerating the trend towards safer, but less complex automotive chassis control applications, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today introduced a new symmetrical dual-core microcontroller (MCU). The TMS570 MCU is the first automotive processor solution to support a certification according to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61508 SIL3 standard – the highest level of safety that is designated for automotive applications. Co-developed with Robert Bosch GmbH, a leading global supplier of automotive technology, the TMS570 MCU will be implemented in next generation braking, steering and chassis control applications.

ARM® Cortex™ at the Core of TMS570 MCUs

The TMS570 MCU platform uses two identical ARM® Limited Cortex™ R4 cores combined with an initial two Mbytes of on-chip flash memory. Targeted applications include chassis control, braking/electronic vehicle stability and steering with higher and lower memory and performance variations planned. The dual cores are tightly coupled by a patent pending architecture for maximum reliability, while memory is protected by Error-Correcting Code (ECC) bit checking.

Innovative Approach to Safety

As vehicles become more complex and integrate more features, safety standardization is becoming increasingly important among automakers and OEMs. The TMS570 device integrates the Cortex R4 cores in an innovative and unprecedented design that enables failure detection and response times required by the IEC 61508 standard. Software development for the dual-core TMS570 MCU becomes less complex by eliminating a dedicated checker MCU algorithm and communication overhead between the main controller and the checker MCU thus reducing development time and cost.
The FlexRay™ networking protocol is also implemented directly on the TMS570 MCU further increasing integration. This deterministic communications standard developed by the leading automotive manufacturers and suppliers offers fully deterministic and fault tolerant communications for advanced automotive systems.

Broadening Portfolio of Innovation and Leadership in Automotive Applications

TI processors have a history of leadership and innovation in the automotive industry. TI's TMS470 MCU, for example, is used in the vast majority of automotive safety systems around the world such antilock braking systems and airbag electronics, while TI’s leading digital signal processors offer innovative solutions for infotainment, navigation, and electronic drive assist. The TI automotive portfolio extends into mixed signal solutions integrating analog-, power-, digital-circuits, as well as embedded processors.

TI is committed to the automotive market, providing OEMs and system suppliers with a broad digital and analog portfolio of superior-quality, reliable, innovative and cost-effective solutions. TI products address electronics in the car for systems ranging from power train to braking to audio and infotainment. The company has achieved ISO/TS16949:2002 certification at 36 facilities worldwide. For more information on TI's automotive products, please see www.ti.com/automotive.