STMicroCO2STMicroelectronics has perfected one of the world’s first automotive ICs supporting advanced networking technology to unlock valuable improvements in fuel efficiency and emissions.

The chip will help car makers respond to changing new-car legislation in major markets worldwide, aiming to save fuel and reduce emissions. In Europe, Euro 6 regulations will replace Euro 5 in 2014, and the average CO2 emissions limit will fall to 95g/km by 2020. Chinese 4 standards, similar to Euro 4, came into force in China in 2011 and the city of Beijing is planning to adopt Chinese 5. In the USA, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements for passenger cars will increase from 30.4 to 37.8 mpg by 2016 and 50.6 mpg by 2025.

To meet these increasingly stringent regulations while continuing to deliver exciting new products for customers, car makers are pursuing many ways to improve fuel efficiency. One of these is to reduce the energy consumed by systems such as door electronics and climate controls. ST’s new IC achieves this by allowing modules to be turned off individually when not being used, taking advantage of “partial networking.” This is a new feature in the latest CAN specification, ISO 11898-6, and could reduce an average vehicle’s CO2 emission by more than 2g/km.

The new chip, the L99PM72PXP, extends ST’s existing automotive CAN/LIN transceiver portfolio and is among the first ICs in the market to support partial networking. It is the product of close cooperation between ST and a notable German car maker, which will be the first customer to use this device in its cars. ST is part of a consortium of leading automotive semiconductor companies and German car manufacturers driving adoption of ISO 11898-6.

“Authorities worldwide are setting progressively tougher environmental performance targets for new cars, and car makers must maximize efficiency throughout the vehicle in order to comply,” said Marco Monti, ST Automotive Electronics Division General Manager. “Integrating new partial networking provides a head start of around 2g/km CO2 in the drive to meet the new standards.”

The L99PM72PXP is housed in a PowerSSO-36 package and is scheduled for volume production in Q3 2012, priced at $2.95 for orders up to 1000 units. Alternative pricing options may be available for larger order quantities. 

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