Freescale takes instrument cluster graphics to a new level

April 09, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Graphical instrument clusters and head-up displays so far are a feature of premium vehicles - the complexity of such solutions and the cost for the host of components required drove the price to a prohibitive level for more cost-effective cars. Freescale has developed an MCU family that possibly could enable designers to bring the abovementioned graphical features to volume vehicle.

To drive advanced graphics capabilities including head-up displays down to the mid- and economy tier automotive segments, Freescale has developed a triple-core, single-chip solution featuring more than 1.7 times higher performance than currently available automotive instrument cluster MCUs.

The triple-core MAC57D5xx also helps enhance safety by separating key instrument cluster hardware and software via concurrent operation of separate operating systems on each of the devices' three cores. Independent operation of an AutoSAR OS on the ARM Cortex-M4 core, and a graphics OS on the ARM Cortex-A5 core allows for enhanced safety in next-generation instrument cluster designs.

The chipmaker also supports the needs of the developers by providing proprietary IP and optimized code to the users of the MAC57D5xx. The approach makes the development more cost-efficient and reduces time-to-market, the company promises. Samples of the MAC57D5xx DIS MCUs are expected to be available in June 2014.

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