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Infotainment SoCs fit car navigation, telematics

Posted: 20 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:infotainment SoC? automotive? telematics?

NEC Electronics has expanded its NaviEngine chip family towards the low end with devices that contain multicore processors along with the peripherals and interfaces necessary in car infotainment systems such as navigation and telematics.

After launching the four-core EG-4270 NaviEngine in 2007, the company extends the product family with the three-core EC-4260 and the dual-core EC-4250. These two devices are the first implementations of NECs EMMA architecture.

The processors used in the SoCs are ARM-11 cores; the three-core type delivers 1440 MIPS of computing power while the two-core implementation still offers 960 MIPS, according to NECs own figures. In comparison to the EG-4270, the two newcomers shine with low power consumption, the vendor claims.

The processors support symmetric multiprocessing which means that the OS runs on both cores and assigns tasks dynamically at runtime. For this reason, the devices can make the best use of hardware resources available, NEC explains.

In order to run 2D/3D graphic applications, the SoCs contain a GPU unit, and both support the OpenVG specs. While the three-core EC-4260 however also supports OpenGL ES, the EC-4250 with its two cores offers 2D hardware acceleration. For automotive-specific communications processes, the software environment that available for the devices supports a number of relevant communication protocols, including USB, MOST, CAN, I?S and I?C.

Also available are evaluation boards, in-circuit emulators, on-chip debugger, middleware and operating systems.

Samples are available now; NEC expects the volume production to ramp up in 2010. By 2012, the company expects production volumes of 100,000 units per month.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automotive DesignLine

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