Found this on Slashdot, and found it really interesting that the ‘top of the line’ microprocessor is only 128Mhz with 3mb onboard flash memory. Yeah I’m sure that it has to ‘survive’ environmental conditions that most CPU’s don’t but come on. You can put the processor outside of the engine compartment… right? Or maybe its just me, didn’t know that the CPU had to be right on the engine and take up to 260c max heat.

128MHZ for a rugged CPU for automotive use is a good thing, but clock speed is just one of many factors. TFA was a tad light on information and worded as an ad (which is to be expected from GM’s press website), but other than just mentioning vague details and the fact that Freescale made it, this doesn’t really mean much without factoring in other details.

Will this mean the 2011 Regal will be leaps and bounds over the 2010? Yes. How much is debatable.

Will this matter in the total scheme of automotive technology? Not really. ECMs have been improving each year, so the 2011 Regal may have a bump in the control CPU’s clock speed, but perhaps some other car maker would have a different architecture in place (multiple modules controlling different functions such as PATS/antitheft, O2 sensor, fuel sensor [1], etc.)

Will other car companies have improvements in their technology? Assuredly. Ford has some new engines going in the mainstream line of vehicles. Other vehicle makers may be bringing diesels to the US.

The big question in all of this: Is there a car example I can go on here?

[1]: I’m sure all cars in the US will eventually be going Flex-Fuel (talk about bumping gasoline from 10% to 15% is happening in some places here in the US), so having the circuitry in place to handle varying amounts of ethanol will be crucial.


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