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Motorola Inc. has announced a technology partnership with Ford Motor Co. to design a new class of microelectronic chips to control automotive engines and transmissions.

Ford's Electronics Division and Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector jointly announced Mo-torola will supply a RISC-based (reduced instruction set computer) microcontroller for Ford's future Powertrain Electronics Controller."RISC technology will add power to control powertrain components for optimum performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions levels," said Charles Szuluk, general manager of Ford's Automotive Components Division, based in Dearborn, Mich. "The Ford Powertrain Electronics Controller will be more than two generations ahead of our current technology."

The device is targeted for completion by the mid-1990s. Ford plans to introduce its controller in stages, beginning with selected North America car lines and increasing to worldwide production of more than 6 million cars and trucks annually.

The design is based on Motoro-la's 88000 RISC microprocessor.

"Our mission is to provide microelectronic devices that will help give automobiles the highest levels of reliability and fuel efficiency," said Greg Williams, vice president of Motorola's Automotive Market Segment.