Spansion Inc. is collaborating with Freescale Semiconductor on a value-added memory subsystem for the automotive industry that will help bring cost-effective and reliable high-performance to next-generation dashboards.
Improving safety and driving experiences, these high-resolution, color TFT (thin-film transistor) screens completely replace the main cluster panel with a single LCD display for conventional instrumentation, informatics and increased safety and hazard warning features, with several digital display designs at top automotive OEMs already in process.
TFTs featuring high resolution, rich color advanced graphical driver data and enabling more complete information to be displayed in line of sight are being adopted in mid-market vehicles this year and are expected to be in more than 30 million vehicles by 2013, according to iSuppli.
Future TFT displays will give car drivers better visibility of their surroundings, such as the ability to display warnings of pedestrians in blind spots; assist with parking and provide safety information such as a road hazard warning.
Other upcoming safety features will include the potential to display in several modes, such as a night view option, where the cluster's infrared night vision system scans for pedestrian shapes and highlights them with yellow boxes. Upon entry to a vehicle, other applications will include scrolling text with a traffic report, along with other diagnostic information. The next-generation multi-purpose displays could also prove helpful for maintenance and relaying diagnostic information to the mechanic.
As dashboard displays become increasingly sophisticated, they call for higher performance memory subsystems. Together, Spansion's high-performance low pin-count MirrorBit SPI Multi-I/O Flash memory, certified with an in-cabin auto temperature range of -40 º C to 105 º C, combined with the Freescale MPC5606S microcontroller's advanced image processing capabilities meet the demanding requirements for TFT LCD color displays. Additionally, the MirrorBit SPI Multi-I/O family enables faster uploads of graphic data using fast data throughput speeds in Quad I/O mode.
Freescale has prequalified all three densities of Spansion Multi-I/O SPI, 32-megabits (Mb), 64 Mb and 128 Mb devices with all three densities shipping in volume production today.