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Altera, TRS-STAR tout scalable car infotainment platform

Posted: 12 Oct 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:infotainment platform  automotive multimedia systems 

PARIS platform

Altera Corp. and TRS-STAR GmbH have announced what it claims as the industry's first fully scalable infotainment platform for the automotive market. Featuring an Altera Stratix II FPGA, TRS-STAR's PARIS platform targets automotive multimedia systems used in next-generation car infotainment and telematic systems. The PARIS platform supports CAN, MOST, USB, Ethernet and SDHC interfaces and features a scalable automotive graphics system with multiple video-in and video-out functionalities, an audio processing module, and an application processor.

Altera worked with more than 12 hardware and software IP providers to develop this comprehensive development system, which includes a pre-programmed board featuring an Altera Stratix II FPGA, a WVGA touch-screen TFT display, reference designs, software stacks and drivers, cabling, power supply, and resource CDs with documentation. It also provides demonstration designs and a library of IP functions that designers can use to create differentiated infotainment products or quickly adapt the products to changing market demands. The platform is designed to enable easy integration of future IP and facilitate fast and efficient development of infotainment applications. In addition, the PARIS platform features a scalable framework which offers up to 50 per cent less development time and system cost.

The PARIS platform also offers a cost reduction path via Altera's low-cost, high-performance HardCopy II structured ASICs, providing an ideal development system for volume production of feature-rich infotainment applications. For infotainment systems requiring fewer features, designers can scale into Altera's low-cost, low-power Cyclone II and Cyclone III FPGAs for their high-volume, cost-sensitive applications.

Automotive multimedia systems

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"Traditionally, infotainment designers used different microcontrollers with often inconsistent hardware and software frameworks in their system platform," said Manfred Schwarztrauber, president of the MSC Group and general manager of TRS-STAR. "This not only lengthens the development time and increases system cost, but also exposes customers to the risk of system obsolescence as the controller definition is not portable to future semiconductor technologies. The PARIS platform provides our automotive customers a comprehensive design methodology enabling IP to be seamlessly incorporated into infotainment applications."

According to the market research firm iSuppli, the total automotive infotainment market is expected to be more than Rs.202,241.45 crore ($50 billion) by 2012. Richard Robinson, principal analyst, automotive electronics, iSuppli, stated, "While automobile production is experiencing a steady three-percent compound annual growth rate, the automotive infotainment segment is expanding much more rapidly. We forecast the automotive infotainment market, which remains largely untapped today, to experience an eight percent CAGR from 2006 to 2013."

"The ability to cost-effectively develop infotainment systems and go to volume production is a key advantage to system manufacturers in the rapidly growing infotainment market," said Louie Leung, marketing director at Altera. "The PARIS platform, with an FPGA at its core offers automotive infotainment designers a single, fully scalable system platform featuring hardware, software and IP. This approach provides designers the ease and flexibility of choosing the IP they need for individual systems, significantly reducing design time and development costs."

The PARIS development platform is offered by TRS-STAR and is currently being sampled by leading customers. The development platform is expected to be available starting the first quarter of 2008.

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