Low-density FPGA aims at automotive sensor data pre-processing

July 04, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With a new low-density AEC-Q100-certified FPGA product family, Lattice Semiconductor targets price-sensitive automotive applications such as camera data preconditioning for ADAS and mirror replacement applications.

The LA-LatticeECP3 product family includes 6 devices. It leverages the vendor's expertise in low power, small size, and cost optimized FPGAs to deliver programmable technology that can be used for all classes of automobile as well as automotive aftermarket products.

According to Lattice, vehicle designers want to differentiate by enabling safety and electronic features found in luxury cars to a universe of affordable automobiles. This however is limited by the availability of cost effective devices to enable this deployment. With its low price, The ECP3 should enable carmakers and suppliers to design high-end ADAS features for a much broader range of vehicles.

The compact automotive qualified LA-LatticeECP3 FPGA family provides a versatile programmable platform that includes Serializer / Deserializer (SERDES) functions necessary to transport video signals across serial transmission lines such as Ethernet, MOST or LVDS. The power optimized SERDES uses half of the power of comparable multi-protocol SERDES. The devices also include digital-signal processing, high-density on-chip memory, programmable DDR3 memory interfaces, and up to 35K look-up tables (LUTS). Moreover, the LatticeECP3 family includes up to six banks of configurable I/O and four 3Gbps SERDES to link in-car networks, components and technologies.

Delivered in packages of 10mm x 10mm, the ECP3 FPGA family allows designers to implement optimized driver assistance systems such as the replacement of side mirrors with high resolution camera systems. Lattice provides its HDR-60 Video Camera Development Kit so engineers can easily develop solutions in areas such as collision avoidance, driver assistance, infotainment and telematics. In addition to providing increased safety the elimination of mirrors improves automobile aerodynamics to dramatically increase fuel efficiency.

LA-LatticeECP3 FPGA family also enables cost effectively extending the number of sensors throughout the automobile by enabling power efficient pre-processing for a distributed system. It also enable advanced cloud based, high resolution infotainment systems and in-cabin integration of mobile devices such as smartphones that can be deployed throughout all classes of vehicles.

Lattice is