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March 13, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

It’s said that Motorola Inc made more money out of the 6800 8-bit microprocessor from its use by car manufacturers than ever it did from computer applications of the family so Intel Corp’s announcement of a high-speed serial communications controller for in-vehicle applications needs to be taken seriously – especially as it is designed to eliminate expensive and trouble-prone wiring harnesses with a single co-axial twisted pair over which all the various signals are multiplexed. The new Intel 82526 member of the 80286 family of parts implements the Controller Area Network protocol: Intel and Robert Bosch GmbH jointly proposed the protocol as a standard in 1986. It’s bad news for the companies that put together wiring harnesses, but as it is estimated that there will be as much as a mile of wiring in the car of the 1990s, the switch to multiplexing, which also facilitates adding features as an after-thought, is seen as essential. The Controller Area Network is a contention-based protocol that allows up to 2,032 messages to be assigned priorities. Maximum speed is 1M-bit per second, and highest priority messages have a latency as low as 150 microseconds. Samples of the part, which is supported by 80C51, 8096 and 80C196 microcontrollers, are out now, volume in third quarter, at UKP4.95 for 10,000-up.

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