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Freescale's ColdFire(R) Audio Processor Drives a New Beat; MCF5251 Brings Portable Audio Entertainment to Automobiles and Consumer Devices

AUSTIN, Texas--May 15, 2006--Manufacturers seeking an audio microprocessor that supports Microsoft's PlaysForSure(TM) 2.0 and PlaysFromDevice specifications now have a compelling new choice with the ColdFire(R) MCF5251 from Freescale Semiconductor .

The MCF5251 audio processor is an excellent choice for portable and in-car infotainment audio applications such as satellite radio, CD or hard disk drive (HDD) compressed audio players, USB Thumb drive players, jukeboxes and MP3 docking stations. Additionally, the MCF5251 enables hours of audio playback time and enough power to drive MPEG4 QCIF video playback.

"Our latest generation of ColdFire audio processors offers an impressive list of multimedia features enabling OEMs to bring exciting new possibilities to their latest automotive and consumer device projects," said Berardino Baratta, general manager of the Multimedia Applications Division for Freescale. "Combined with our comprehensive software and Microsoft PlaysForSure and PlaysFromDevice support, this highly integrated processor reduces chip count and allows designers to create even smaller form factor audio devices."

The ColdFire MCF5251 supports Microsoft's PlaysForSure 2.0 and PlaysFromDevice specifications for security and portability. These technologies allow consumers to connect their MP3 player via USB to the car audio system, play back music over the car audio system and have full access to the device contents via the in-car controls.

"Based on the performance we see on the ColdFire MCF5251 processor, we are confident that the HDD and CD reference software solutions we are building will be the best in the market for both car audio and portable HDD players," said Mr. K. Srinivasan, CEO of AllGo Embedded Systems, Bangalore, India. "Our free PlaysForSure V2.0 compliant software package will help existing and new Freescale customers designing with the MCF5251 to adopt the new Microsoft standard seamlessly, thus, accelerating their time to market."

ColdFire MCF5251

The MCF5251 is powered by the ColdFire V2 32-bit microprocessor core with a small DSP engine (eMAC) that is well suited for MP3 and similar applications. With two automotive CAN interface modules in the same device, the MCF5251 works as a digital audio solution for car and portable audio applications. Other hardware features include on-chip USB 2.0 On-the-Go (OTG) technology with an integrated high-speed (up to the specification maximum of 480 Mbps) transceiver and a tamper-proof real-time clock for improved digital rights management (DRM). A high-speed UDMA ATA interface facilitates fast data transfers for easy uploads and downloads. Additionally, the MCF5251 is AECQ100-qualified, a mandate by the automotive industry for compressed audio.

The scalable MCF5251 software requires minimal hardware dedication, which can shorten design cycles and makes it easier to react to changing market requirements. Software compatibility with the SCF5249 and SCF5250 devices enables a simple migration path for next-generation devices. Also, the MCF5251 comes with a comprehensive audio reference software package that supports a wide range of audio encode, decode and DRM standards.

Microsoft Digital Rights Management

Freescale has adopted Microsoft's Windows Media Audio Digital Rights Management 10 (WMA-DRM10) format for its MCF5251 components and development tools. DRM is an important way to protect the ownership of subscription-based content, such as downloaded music, even as it passes from one portable device to another. Many content providers are now supporting WMA-DRM10, and Freescale incorporates these technologies into its ColdFire product family.


To get next-generation designs to market more quickly, Freescale provides schematics, layout files and component lists for a 1.8-inch, 20 GB HDD reference design that includes a color liquid crystal display and support for JPEG, MPEG4 and USB 2.0 OTG. The MCF5251 is available now in production quantities. Visit for more details.

About Freescale Semiconductor

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. Freescale became a publicly traded company in July 2004 after more than 50 years as part of Motorola Inc. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale, a member of the S&P 500(R), is one of the world's largest semiconductor companies with 2005 sales of $5.8 billion (USD).

Freescale Technology Forum

The Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) is fast becoming the embedded semiconductor industry's premier developer conference. A global program, FTF events feature visionary keynote speakers, in-depth technical training, and interactive demonstrations from Freescale and leading hardware, software and tools providers. For detailed information about FTF events around the world, please go to

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