I recently attended the “Chevy Volt Teardown: Infotainment” session presented by Al Steier from Munro & Associates and John Scott-Thomas from TechInsights at San Jose Design West 2012 Conference. In this session they revealed the key components of the communication board, body control module, instrument cluster electronics, and the infotainment system. It was great to see Spansion chips highlighted on both the communication module and the instrument cluster board. I knew that there were more Spansion devices in the navigation unit, but it was not highlighted in this session.
Spansion Flash holds most of the firmware responsible for the communications module. Our NOR flash provides the fast boot, high performance, long term reliability required for GM’s Onstar Telematics units.
The software stored in the Spansion Flash provides the instructions to calculate, gather or report critical information; everything from the battery state of charge, amount of fuel in the vehicle, tire pressure variables stored, etc.
Another Spansion’s Flash memory headliner was on the instrument cluster board. Located right next to the Freescale’s display controller, the role of this Flash memory is to store and provide the bitmaps used to generate the graphics, letters, numbers, overlays that is shown on the TFT/LCD displays.
From an electronics perspective, GM has taken a real global village approach in the overall manufacture of the Electric Vehicle. It was clear the presenters of the session realized that Spansion Flash memory plays an important role in the infotainment and instrument clusters.
Those interested can check out a time-lapse video of the Chevy Volt teardown here. The real teardown took three days, but the video has compressed it all into five minutes.