Going Graphical in the Cockpit: Page 4 of 4

November 21, 2013 //By Klaus Neuenhüskes, Toshiba Electronics Europe
Going Graphical in the Cockpit
Adaptive and context-sensitive graphical instrumentation can now be found in an increasing number of mid-range cars, providing a means to manage and present information optimally to help improve driver control and safety. These advanced graphical dashboards also offer the potential for smartphone-like flexibility to customise and personalise the user experience. What makes a suitable instrument controller, capable of supporting further enhancements in the future?
manufacturers’ mid-range vehicles now, and allows the driver to survey basic information such as current speed without looking away from the road.

Automotive-grade Security

For security, the instrumentation controller must provide effective protection against threats such as hacking and software manipulation. Microcontrollers such as the Capricorn devices, and others, provide this security by implementing the Secure Hardware Extension (SHE) as defined by the Hersteller Initiative Software (HIS) Consortium comprising major automotive OEMs. Implemented on chip as a hardware module, the SHE provides security that is inherently more robust than software-based approaches adopted in some general-purpose microcontrollers.


As today’s car makers face the challenges of delivering new and exciting features matching the standards set by smartphones and tablets, and presenting ever-growing quantities of information to the driver in a clear and user-friendly format, adaptive and context-sensitive graphical instrumentation promises a high-performing and potentially cost-effective solution.

An all-in-one microcontroller featuring an application-optimised graphics engine, dual-display capability, industry-standard security and built-in stepper motor drivers giving the flexibility to control conventional dials as well as advanced graphical instrumentation provides the feature integration and flexibility that will allow graphical instrumentation to become more widely used. Value-added features such as perspective transformation can enhance the user experience and help encourage market adoption of the new technology.

About the author

As senior marketing engineer at Toshiba Electronics Europe, Klaus Neuenhüskes is responsible for Automotive System LSI IC Product Marketing for Europe. Klaus holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and previously held positions at OKI Electric Europe and NEC Electronics.

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