Single-chip solution combines instrument cluster graphics with hardware security

April 16, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe expands its line-up for automotive instrument clusters. MB9EF226 - nick-named Titan - is the newest member of Fujitsu's FCR4 family, which is based on the ARM Cortex-R4 core. The MCU provides intelligent support for up to six traditional gauges plus the 2D graphics engine IRIS, enabling it to drive a colour display in the same cluster. By including a Secure Hardware Extension (SHE) module, it also offers customers first-class security, since the module is completely implemented in hardware.

The MCU will enable innovative driver information systems with an enhanced function set, capable of running more sophisticated software solutions and supporting the AUTOSAR specification. Titan has also been optimized to perform well in terms of key industry benchmarks such as safety, security and power consumption. Developed at Fujitsu's MCU Competence Centre in Langen near Frankfurt, the MCU is designed to operate as a single-chip solution for hybrid instrument clusters featuring graphics and gauges.

With a core operating frequency at up to 128 MHz, Titan offers more than 200 DMIPS of processing power, plus 2 MB of flash memory and 208 KB of RAM. The MediaLB interface supports applications such as the transfer of graphics data from another electronic control unit, for instance satellite navigation, to Titan.

As implemented on Titan, Fujitsu's 2D graphics engine IRIS consists of a display output with TCON - supporting four display layers and allowing pixel clocks up to 40 MHz - a command sequencer that permits the CPU and the graphics engine to run in parallel, a signature unit offering support for security aspects and the 2D graphics core itself. The engine is optimised for low memory usage. For example, a typical sequence of operations would be the parallel scaling, rotation and decompression of different bitmaps as the first step and then the blending of these bitmaps into a single output entity as the second step - thus avoiding the need for intermediate storage. Titan also offers additional device security, including secure handling of the trace and JTAG ports plus flash memory features.

The Secure Hardware Extension is a cryptographic module that complies with the specification of the HIS (Herstellerinitiative Software) Consortium, of which Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen are members. The hardware-implemented SHE module embedded in Titan lets Tier 1 automotive suppliers and car manufacturers set up countermeasures to guard against software manipulation of electronic control units or even the theft of