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TI beefs up economy cars with infotainment SoC

Posted: 11 Jun 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Texas Instruments  SoC  infotainment  IVI system  ADAS 

According to Texas Instruments (TI), the increasing consumer demand for more advanced in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, the bring-your-own-device trend, the car industry's need to consolidate a growing number of ECUs, and the further progress of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are key factors driving the automotive chip market.

In particular, the car industry's appetite for advanced IVI and telematics systems appears to be insatiable. Features such as high-integrity audio, simultaneous multimedia streaming and a variety of device connections, once considered only for high-end cars, are quickly becoming integral parts of entry- to mid-level automobiles scheduled for early 2015 launch, the company added.

For chip suppliers competing for IVI design-in slots, what matters isn't just advanced multimedia/graphics SoCs that wow automotive subsystem vendors and consumers. The name of the game is "scalability, design-reuse and [the] faster time-to-market" their chips can deliver to tier-ones and car OEMs, said Brad Ballard, TI's marketing manager of infotainment.

True to the playbook, TI launched last week "Jacinto 6 Eco," the latest member of the company's "Jacinto" automotive SoC platform. Designed to deliver more affordable and economical solutions for advanced IVI and telematics systems, the Jacinto 6 Eco, designated as DRA72X, is built on the principle of the reuse of software and hardware platforms.

Instead of the dual ARM Cortex-A15 used in the original Jacinto 6, the Jacinto 6 Eco integrates a single-core A15. In place of Imagination's 3D GFX SGX544MP2, the Jacinto 6 Eco uses a single-core version of the same graphics processor.

As in Jacinto 6, the Jacinto 6 Eco also maintains the Big-Little architecture. It uses on-chip auxiliary CPUs (two ARM Cortex-M4 cores) to offload the main ARM Cortex-A15 CPU from real time, interrupt-intensive tasks, while supporting auto connectivity peripherals including DCAN, Ethernet AVB, MOST Media Local Bus (MLB), PCIe, and USB2.0 and 3.0, according to TI. Also retained in the Jacinto 6 Eco SoC are a C66 DSP co-processor and HD video co-processor for image video acceleration.

Jacinto 6 Eco SoC

What's inside Jacinto 6 Eco SoC? (Source: Texas Instruments)

The DSP enables active noise cancellation, speech enhancement, digital radio and audio post-processing algorithms. The video co-processor can decode H.264 1080p resolution at 60fps.

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