Every second car produced today contains Infineon microcontrollers; the company has just delivered its 100 millionth TriCore™ microcontroller
Neubiberg, Germany – November 15, 2012 – Infineon Technologies AG (FSE: IFX / OTCQX: IFNNY) has just delivered its one hundred millionth TriCore™-microcontroller. That ranks these microcontrollers among the most successful in automotive electronics. The TriCore-based microcontrollers from Infineon are assembled in over fifty automotive brands. Statistically speaking, this means that almost every second vehicle produced today includes a TriCore-based microcontroller. It is responsible for keeping the fuel consumption and exhaust emissions as low as possible.
TriCore-based microcontrollers are used in the central control units for combustion engines and gearboxes to control the injection, ignition or exhaust gas recirculation: Increasingly, they are also being used in hybrid and electric vehicle drives. Other areas of application include electric steering, braking and chassis control as well as body control. TriCore is also used in other areas not related to the automotive sector, for example in system controls, solar inverters and for steering electric motors.
“Our TriCore microcontrollers with embedded flash have been in series production for engine control units since 2005,” says Peter Schäfer, Vice President and General Manager, Microcontrollers, Infineon Technologies AG. “Today’s cars would not be as efficient, eco-friendly or safe without microcontrollers. We are very proud of our contribution to the automotive industry. Our TriCore-based 32-bit microcontrollers for automotive powertrain and chassis applications are – thanks to their high data processing rate and real-time capability – among the best products currently available on the market.“
What is TriCore?
TriCore was developed by Infineon. TriCore is the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of Infineon’s 32-bit microcontrollers – the brain so to speak of such microcontrollers – and corresponds to the CPU of a computer. A microcontroller however is also comparable with the complete computer because a single semiconductor contains i.e. program and working memory, interfaces and hard disks. Unlike computers, though, microcontrollers have to provide reliable service for more than 10 years despite having to withstand environmental conditions varying between -40°C and 170°C (details provided in an itemized temperature profile) as well as strong vibrations and accelerations.
TriCore is a 32-bit microcontroller architecture optimized for embedded real-time systems. It unifies real-time capabilities, signal-processing functions and highly efficient application-specific interface functions. The core has a super-scalar processor and is thus able to carry out a number of different commands simultaneously. The command set includes special mathematical functions for the efficient calculation of complex algorithms. TriCore microcontrollers are ideal for automotive applications by virtue of their high data rate and real-time capability, namely in the temperature range from -40 °C up to 170 °C.
Infineon in almost every car
Besides the management and transmission control systems, Infineon chips are used in airbags, driver assistance systems, in electronic steering support, in ABS, Electronic Stability Programs (ESP), pedestrian protection and in tire pressure control, in electric power windows, lighting control, in heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, in seat adjustment and keyless door opening.
In 2011, around 75 million vehicles were manufactured, of which 20 million were produced in Europe alone. On average, each vehicle contains chips worth about USD 300. Infineon has a ten percent share of this market - and is thus one of the world’s largest chip manufacturers for automotive electronics; what is more, the company is also the largest chip manufacturer in Europe (with 15 percent of the market). In 2011, the total value of the market for automotive chips amounted to approximately USD 23 billion (source: Strategy Analytics, April 2011 – a market research company). For its microcontrollers in engine management and transmission control units, Infineon holds a global market share of over 30 percent.
You can find further technical information about Infineon microcontrollers at: www.infineon.com/tricore and www.infineon.com/aurix
For information about Infineon’s semiconductor solutions for automotive electronics, please see: www.infineon.com/automotive
Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, mobility, and security. In the 2012 fiscal year (ending September 30), the company reported sales of Euro 3.9 billion with close to 26,700 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX) and in the USA on the over-the-counter market OTCQX International Premier (ticker symbol: IFNNY).