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Audi adopts National FPD-Link for car infotainment

Posted: 04 Aug 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:in-vehicle capabilities  car model  analogue ICs 

National Semiconductor Corp. and Audi AG are collaborating to include National's FPD-Link technology for a series of in-vehicle capabilities and benefits in the 2012 Audi A3 car model.

According to the company, the 2012 Audi car models will be the first to follow National Semiconductor's arrangement with Audi AG to provide analogue integrated circuits (ICs) and sub-systems for Modular Infotainment Device technology for Audi's next-generation vehicles, expanding in subsequent years to include additional Audi vehicles and models.

National's technology is said to enable vivid graphics and content-protected high-definition (HD) video to be distributed throughout the vehicle, creating a movie theatre-like experience for passengers.

The National FPD-Link III Ser/Des automotive infotainment chipset allows uncompressed HD video from the Audi MMI's central processing unit to be distributed to the high-resolution displays spread throughout the front and rear of the vehicle. By enabling a truly protected digital signal, the content (for instance, a Blu-ray movie or three-dimensional map data) may not be hacked or infiltrated.

According to the company, National's FPD-Link III Ser/Des chipset leverages the company's expertise in high-speed analogue and mixed-signal technology, transporting HD digital video, audio, clocking and encrypted key exchange for content protection over a single twisted pair cable. National's FPD-Link III technology claims to be one of a selected few to be accepted by the Digital Content Protection (DCP, LLC), the licensing body for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) as an approved HDCP technology.

"Speed and integrity of electronic signals are paramount for automotive infotainment applications, and our high-performance analogue innovations make us an ideal partner for Audi. We look forward to working together to apply technology and innovation to enhance its next-generation vehicles," said Robert Hinke, VP and general manager, Europe for National Semiconductor.

Peter Steiner, head of Infotainment at Audi, added, "Through this partnership we will continue to engineer cost-optimised solutions with the goal of offering Premium HD digital video across the Audi vehicle range. National's system integration expertise and flexibility in supporting interface solutions compatible with the industry-leading graphics processors of the Audi MMI are both invaluable in achieving this goal."

The FPD-Link III family extends beyond infotainment to include automotive-grade chipsets for Audi's driver-assist video cameras. That technology aims to improve driver safety and response time, helping drivers monitor road conditions, detect hazards and avoid collisions.

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