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Automotive micro-controller

CAN FD series for 3D graphics

Spansion (USA) introduced the latest member of its Traveo micro-controller series aimed at human machine interfaces in automotive dashboards. The series offers four CAN interfaces and CAN FD.

(Photo: Spansion)

THIS SERIES DELIVERS 2D AND 3D graphics, which has been optimized to bring automotive-specific graphics functions into the car without increased power and BOM requirements. As the first 3D-capable ARM Cortex-R5 cluster MCU, the graphics engine provides greater memory savings, increased safety features, and rich image capabilities, without the need for external video RAM. These, in turn, help manufacturers take advantage of lower overall system costs to proliferate the advanced driver experience previously reserved for luxury automotive brands. For the first time, the company has integrated its Hyperbus interface, enabling connections with Hyperbus memories, including Hyperflash memory.

According to Dr. Saied Tehrani, senior vice president of Spansion's MCU Business, the "Traveo family is unique in delivering a scalable, high-performance system at lower costs, power and footprint, allowing our customers to bring visually rich instrument clusters and heads up displays to the everyday car."

The company is launching two variations of the Traveo graphics solutions: the S6J324C series enables 2D graphics while the S6J326C variant supports both 2D and 3D. Both series support the Hyperbus interface. The scalable solution offers upgrade paths from 2D to 3D. In addition to the graphics feature-set, the solution includes enhanced connectivity, supporting a range of communications protocols, including CAN FD and Ethernet AVB, as well as advanced graphics interfaces such as LVDS PHY and RSDS. The four CAN channels offer 64 CAN message buffers. The high-speed communication protocol CAN FD is also compatible with classic CAN.

It also contains multimedia support with a sound system combining 16-bit audio DAC and multi-channel mixer. Additionally, all device variants have the universal footprint with consistent packaging and pin-outs, enabling users to migrate from one device to another without having to alter board layouts, quickening time to market.

"Historically, the instrument cluster has presented the driver with mission critical dials and gauges, but the evolution of the automotive cockpit is such that that may no longer be enough," said Tom Hackenberg, Automotive Embedded Processors Principal Analyst at IHS Technology. "OEMs that wish to provide a more engaging user-experience are challenged with blending the right level of visual appeal without adding driver distraction; this trend is leading OEMs to integrate camera feeds or advanced graphics directly into the instrument cluster."

Hackenberg added, "The challenge is that ASIL compliant micro-controllers have traditionally lacked the graphics processing and memory to reproduce video or remarkable graphics, and the large market of high-performance graphically enhanced SoCs have often been too costly in terms of price and/or certification challenges. Rather than replacing the micro-controller, a few processor suppliers are embracing this challenge by evolving the micro-controller to support graphics."

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