The growing demand for LCDs in center stacks and clusters is driving up demand for graphic controllers. Fujitsu Microelectronics is addressing that with a device that trims power consumption and memory requirements.
Many high-end vehicles are providing virtual clusters, eliminating electromechanical gauges, while a growing number of midline cars are moving to hybrid dashboards, which combine LCDs and gauges. As these changes occur, product designers are also moving to higher resolution devices.
Fujitsu’s MB88F322 graphical control unit aims to speed up the changeover in large part by lowering system costs. The chip uses a line-buffering bitmap technique to draw images, reducing memory requirements compared to conventional raster drawing techniques. That makes it possible to put all memory on the controller while also lowering power consumption. The power savings come because the chip runs at 80 MHz, well below the rates of competing graphics chips, according to Dan Landeck, Product Manager.
Landeck said the MB88F322 is the first chip to support the Automotive Pixel Link (APIX) interface. This serial gigabit interface lets one controller manage multiple remote display subsystems. That’s important in vehicles that have more than one LCD, either in dual screen clusters or cars with both center stack and cluster displays. The chip supports resolutions up to 800 x 600 with color depths up to 24 bits.
Fujitsu also unveiled 16- and 32-bit microcontrollers that can be used in dashboards and most other vehicle applications. Among the options in these controller lines are FlexRay and AUTOSAR.