The huge role of microcontrollers in new cars continues to grow. Volkswagen’s 2009 Golf platform will extend its networking capabilities, implementing a communications gateway with six CAN interfaces and at least two LIN interfaces for simple elements like windows and door locks. The gateway is based on a 16-bit microcontroller from Infineon Technologies, the XC2200. The gateway handles all of the internal interfaces, including the engine, entertainment systems, instrument clusters and body and convenience control units. The chips also open the door to external communication so future software updates can be installed by auto dealerships.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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