The shifting design focus for in-vehicle electronic systems is resulting in multiple displays that yield richer user experiences and more advanced human-machine interface (HMI) systems.
HMI designs are now employing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to reduce driver distractions through a new breed of gesture-recognition features. That allows drivers to switch on lights and answer phone calls while still focusing on the road.
Microchip's new 3D gesture-recognition controller for automotive HMI designs is a case in point. The capacitive technology-based air gesture controller can be easily tuned to a sensor in order to create a 3D gesture system. And it allows the use of a sensor constructed from any conductive material.
Here, unlike touch and gesture controllers based on infrared and time-of-flight technologies, which can be costly and operate poorly in bright or direct sunlight, Microchip claims its MGC3140 gesture-recognition controller for automotive HMI designs offers reliable sensing in full sunlight and harsh environments.
The MGC3140 controller chip is qualified for the AEC-Q100 specification from the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) and meets the strict EMI and EMC requirements of automotive system designs. The single-chip solution is available in an evaluation platform that includes a reference PCB with the MGC3140 controller, a PCB-based sensor to recognize gestures, all required cables, and software and documentation.
Another notable automotive offering — the SC1701 graphics controller from Socionext — offers display resolution of up to one U-HD (4K) or two F-HD (2K) at 30 bpp. It facilitates two separate video streams over a single link by utilizing the VESA display stream compression (DSC) technique. The graphics controller supports multiple content-rich displays inside the vehicle while meeting high-speed video and data connectivity and stringent safety requirements.
Socionext’s SC1701 controller chip also has embedded non-volatile memory (NVM) — SST’s SuperFlash — that includes diagnostic and security protection capabilities, cyclic redundancy code (CRC) checks, picture freeze detection, and multi-window signature unit. The SuperFlash memory comes in a small bit-cell-size package and provides fast read speed along with superior data retention and endurance for in-vehicle displays.
The two design case studies outlined above show how in-vehicle infotainment technologies are enhancing content richness while adding new dimensions like artificial intelligence to automotive system designs. And, that tailor-made embedded solutions are available for implementing these automotive advancements.