Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
is a producer and designer of embedded hardware, with 17 billion semiconductor
A semiconductor is a material with electrical conductivity due to electron flow intermediate in magnitude between that of a conductor and an insulator. This means a conductivity roughly in the range of 103 to 10−8 siemens per centimeter...
chips in use around the world. The company focuses on the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets with its product portfolio including microprocessor
A microprocessor incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit on a single integrated circuit, or at most a few integrated circuits. It is a multipurpose, programmable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and...
A microcontroller is a small computer on a single integrated circuit containing a processor core, memory, and programmable input/output peripherals. Program memory in the form of NOR flash or OTP ROM is also often included on chip, as well as a typically small amount of RAM...
s, digital signal processor
A digital signal processor is a specialized microprocessor with an architecture optimized for the fast operational needs of digital signal processing.-Typical characteristics:...
s, digital signal controllers, sensors, RF power ICs and power management ICs. The company also holds an extensive patent portfolio, including approximately 6,100 patent families. In addition, the company offers software and development tools to enable complete solutions and to support product development.
The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...
with design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations in more than 20 countries.
Freescale is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders.
Freescale was one of the first semiconductor companies in the world, having started as a division of Motorola
Motorola, Inc. was an American multinational telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, which was eventually divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011, after losing $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009...
in Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...
in 1949 and then created under the divestiture of the Semiconductor Products Sector of Motorola in 2004. In 1955, a Motorola germanium transistor for car radios was the world’s first commercial high-power transistor. It was also Motorola’s first mass-produced semiconductor.
In the 1960s, one of the U. S. space program's goals was to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth. In 1968, the NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...
began manned Apollo flights that led to the first lunar landing in July 1969. Apollo 11 was particularly significant for hundreds of employees involved in designing, testing and producing its electronics. A division of Motorola, which became Freescale Semiconductor, supplied thousands of semiconductor devices, ground-based tracking and checkout equipment, and 12 on-board tracking and communications units. An "up-data link" in the Apollo's command module received signals from Earth to relay to other on-board systems. A transponder received and transmitted voice and television signals and scientific data.
Also that year, Freescale’s technologies were used to introduce the first two-way mobile radio with a fully transistorized power supply and receiver for cars.
Freescale has continued its growth in the networking and communications sector in later years, providing the tools behind the radio transponder that delivered the first words from the moon in 1969, and going on to develop the first prototype of the first analog mobile phone in 1973.
The company’s first microprocessor (MC6800 8-bit) was introduced in 1974, and was used in automotive, computing and video game applications.
Freescale’s next generation 32-bit microprocessor, the MC68000, led the wave of technologies that spurred the computing revolution in 1984, powering devices from Apple, Sun, and Hewlett Packard companies.
In the 1990s, Freescale’s technology was the driving force behind intelligent power switches for anti-lock brake systems, one of the first microelectromechanical systems
Microelectromechanical systems is the technology of very small mechanical devices driven by electricity; it merges at the nano-scale into nanoelectromechanical systems and nanotechnology...
(MEMS) inertial sensor for automotive airbags, and Freescale’s MPC5200 microprocessor deployed telematic systems for General Motors’ OnStar systems.
Since then, Freescale has continued to provide the technology behind some consumer, medical, networking and automotive products from microprocessors for the world’s first tubing-free wireless insulin pump
The insulin pump is a medical device used for the administration of insulin in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, also known as continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion therapy.The device includes:...
, to and automotive microcontrollers for efficient engine design. Freescale’s motion-sensing accelerometer powers the interactivity of the Guitar Hero
Guitar Hero is a music video game developed by Harmonix Music Systems and published by RedOctane for the PlayStation 2 video game console. It is the first entry in the Guitar Hero series. Guitar Hero was released on November 8, 2005 in North America, April 7, 2006 in Europe and June 15, 2006 in...
video games. The number one provider of eReader applications processors worldwide is Freescale.
In 2011, the company launched the industry’s first multimode wireless base station processor family that scales from small to large cells – integrating DSP and communications processor technologies to realize a true "base station-on-chip". In addition, a recent ABI research report states that Freescale owns 60% share of the RF semiconductor device market.
Also in 2011, Freescale announced the company's first magnetometer
A magnetometer is a measuring instrument used to measure the strength or direction of a magnetic field either produced in the laboratory or existing in nature...
for location tracking in smart mobile devices. With the partnership of McLaren Electronic Systems
McLaren Electronic Systems is a member of the McLaren Group that controls Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, a Formula One racing team and constructor....
, they helped the NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...
Sprint Cup Series vehicles convert from carburetors to fuel injection
The idea behind fuel injection in NASCAR is that the stock car automobile technology can catch up to the technology used by actual Toyota, Chevrolet, Dodge, and Ford vehicles on the road today....
starting in 2012.
Motorola announced that their semiconductor division would be divested on October 6, 2003 to create Freescale. Freescale completed its IPO on July 16, 2004.
On September 15, 2006, Freescale agreed to a buyout
A buyout, in finance, is an investment transaction by which the ownership equity of a company, or a majority share of the stock of the company is acquired. The acquiror thereby "buys out" control of the target company....
by a consortium led by Blackstone Group
The Blackstone Group L.P. is an American-based alternative asset management and financial services company that specializes in private equity, real estate, and credit and marketable alternative investment strategies, as well as financial advisory services, such as mergers and acquisitions ,...
and its co-investors, Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group is an American-based global asset management firm, specializing in private equity, based in Washington, D.C. The Carlyle Group operates in four business areas: corporate private equity, real assets, market strategies and fund-of-funds, through its AlpInvest subsidiary...
, TPG Capital, and Permira
Permira is a United Kingdom-based private equity firm with global reach. The firm advises funds with a total committed capital of approximately €20 billion....
. The buyout offer was accepted on November 13, 2006 following a vote by company shareholders. The purchase, which closed on December 1, 2006, is reportedly the largest private buyout of a technology company and one of the ten largest buyouts of all time.
Freescale serves the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets.
Freescale supplies semiconductor solutions to the global automotive industry, working with top brand automotive manufacturers. The company produces technologies and solutions critical for making cars safer, more connected, more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.
Freescale’s technologies enable devices in a number of key consumer markets, including tablets, eReaders, home media phones, smartphones, and gaming consoles. The company’s embedded solutions offer high–performance processors with low power consumption.
Freescale provides solutions for connectivity, control, sensing and power management in the industrial market. Products address the performance spectrum with 8-, 16- and 32-bit solutions and sensors for smart energy, building control, HVAC, factory automation, energy-efficient motor control.
Freescale’s networking portfolio is designed to build content-rich networks. The company’s PowerQUICC processors, StarCore DSPs, RF solutions and QorIQ platforms offer solutions for manufacturers of wireless and wireline infrastructure, enterprise, small and home office networking, and pervasive computing products.
Qorivva/5xxx Power Architecture MCUs
Qorivva MCUs, based on Power Architecture
Power Architecture is a broad term to describe similar RISC instruction sets for microprocessors developed and manufactured by such companies as IBM, Freescale, AMCC, Tundra and P.A. Semi...
technology, are used for automotive powertrain control, body electronics, safety and chassis, and instrument cluster applications.
Kinetis ARM MCUs
32-bit Kinetis MCUs represent a scalable portfolio of ARM Cortex™-M4 MCUs. The portfolio consists of five MCU families with over 200 pin-, peripheral- and software compatible devices with performance, memory and feature scalability.
Enabled by 90nm Thin Film Storage flash technology with FlexMemory, ColdFire+ MCUs provide precision, performance mixed signal capabilities, ultra-low-power capabilities and peripherals for specific market applications.
The i.MX range is a family of Freescale Semiconductor proprietary microprocessors for multimedia applications based on the ARM architecture and focused on low-power consumption. The i.MX application processors are SoCs , that integrate many processing units into one die, like the main CPU, a video...
Applications Processors based on ARM Technology
Freescale i.MX applications processors based on the ARM architecture
ARM is a 32-bit reduced instruction set computer instruction set architecture developed by ARM Holdings. It was named the Advanced RISC Machine, and before that, the Acorn RISC Machine. The ARM architecture is the most widely used 32-bit ISA in numbers produced...
enable high performance and long battery life for rich multimedia and display applications. The i.MX applications processor family includes processors based on ARM9, ARM11, ARM Cortex™-A8, ARM Cortex-A9 core technologies, which are powering applications in consumer, automotive and industrial markets that demand exceptional performance and efficiency.
QorIQ is a brand of Power Architecture-based communications microprocessors from Freescale. It is the evolutionary step from the PowerQUICC platform and will be built around one or more Power Architecture e500mc cores and come in five different product platforms, P1, P2, P3, P4 and P5, segmented...
Freescale's QorIQ processing platforms enable the migration to multicore for networking applications. Built using one or more high-performance 32- or 64-bit cores, based on Power Architecture technology, QorIQ platforms are highly integrated system-on-chip solutions that include accelerators, security and more.
PowerQUICC is the name for several Power Architecture based microcontrollers from Freescale Semiconductor. They are built around one or more PowerPC cores and the QUICC Engine which is a separate RISC core specialized in such tasks such as I/O, communications, ATM, security acceleration, networking...
Freescale’s PowerQUICC families are built on Power Architecture technology and support embedded networking equipment applications. They are also suited for networked equipment applications in the industrial and computing markets, delivering support for protocols and interfaces including Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, PCI Express Serial RapidIO, ATM, HDLC, USB and PCMCIA.
Xtrinsic is Freescale’s brand of sensors designed with a combination of intelligent integration, logic and software. Xtrinsic sensors exhibit integrated algorithms or are integrated platforms with multiple sensors and a processor that provide awareness and decision making. Freescale’s sensing solutions are found in products across the automotive, consumer, medical and industrial markets.
Analog and Power Management
Freescale offers analog mixed signal and power solutions which include monolithic ICs using SMARTMOS mixed signal technology, and system in package devices utilizing power, SMARTMOS, and MCU dies. The company has products for power management, integrated I/O, analog interfacing, backlighting, networking, distributed control and power for a variety of automotive, consumer and industrial products.
Digital Signal Processors
The Freescale digital signal processor portfolio includes products based on StarCore technology for applications including baseband, communications, aerospace, defense, industrial control and test and measurement. Freescale also offers the Symphony family of audio DSPs.
Digital Signal Controllers
Freescale digital signal controllers combine the processing power of a DSP and the functionality of an MCU for precise and accurate industrial control, motor control and digital power conversion applications.
Offering a broad portfolio of RF products, Freescale primarily serves the wireless infrastructure, wireless personal area network, general purpose amplifier, broadcast, consumer, medical, smart energy, and industrial markets.
CodeWarrior Development Tools
CodeWarrior Development Studio
CodeWarrior is an integrated development environment for the creation of software that runs on a number of embedded systems. Prior to the acquisition of the product by Freescale Semiconductor, versions existed for Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube,...
is a complete Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that provides a visual and automated framework designed to accelerate the development of complex embedded applications. CodeWarrior Development Studio is offered for almost every Freescale product line.
VortiQa Software for Networking
Freescale's VortiQa software supports the development of multicore processing solutions for networking and communications equipment. VortiQa software delivers security and networking functionality such as firewall, IPsec, VPN, IPS, anti-virus and anti-spam.
- List of Freescale products
- ON Semiconductor
ON Semiconductor , is a semiconductors supplier company. Products include power and signal management, logic, discrete and custom devices for automotive, communications, computing, consumer, industrial, LED lighting, medical, military/aerospace and power applications...
, another Motorola semiconductor spinoff
- List of Semiconductor Fabrication Plants