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Toshiba unrolls RISC-based SoC for car TFT displays

Posted: 27 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:single-chip processors? automotive TFT? RISC-based SoC?

Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH has rolled out an SoC processor for automotive TFT displays that it said offers the industry's highest level of integration to date.

The device is part of the Germany-based firm's expansion on its family of RISC-based SoC processors, delivering 64bit processing, powerful graphics engines, peripherals, interfaces and embedded memory in the QFP format.

Dubbed the Capricorn-A, the part provides a low-cost, single-chip solution to driving and managing small size displays increasingly found in instrument clusters in medium- to high-end vehicles.

The IC is said to reduce the cost, complexity and component count of implementing TFT displays in sizes from typically 3-inch to 5-inch and with resolutions up to 1/2 VGA/VGA. Such displays are increasingly deployed in instrument clusters where they are often used in conjunction with conventional mechanical gauges.

The device integrates a 64bit processor, an advanced graphical display controller with dedicated accelerator functions, and a comprehensive range of onboard peripherals and interfaces.

In addition, Toshiba has also integrated embedded DRAM, eliminating the need for external RAM. This in turn helps reduce component count and board space, at the same time minimizing the need for EMI shielding by lowering the number of external PCB tracks required for a fully operational system.

The SoC features Toshiba's low-power, high-performance MIPS-based TX49/L4 64bit CPU core operating at 120MHz. Graphics processing and display control capabilities are delivered by an integrated graphics display controller together with specialized accelerator engines.

The graphics functionality includes dedicated hardware engines for cluster graphics and can deliver up to 32bit RGBA colors. The graphics accelerators enhance the display output through several handling functions, offering high-quality anti-aliasing that ensures smooth display of changing graphics.

A frame grabber capable of working with a wide variety of input data formats is available for the capture and processing of video images, supporting applications such as rear view monitoring.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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