Altera is working with National Semiconductor on the transmission, processing and display of digital data in automotive applications as a first step to closer co-operation that will include complex collision detection systems.
The two have developed a first reference design for graphics interconnect to run digital video in automotive infotainment and driver-assistance applications, using Altera's low-cost Cyclone 3 FPGAs and National's FPD-Link 2 embedded clock serialiser/deserialiser (SERDES). This should provide higher bandwidth over longer range with less cabling and lower electromagnetic interference (EMI), as well as increased reliability and lower system costs.
"This work with National represents the first in a multi-step collaboration between the two companies to facilitate the routing of high-resolution digital video within automotive applications," said Michael Samuelian, director of Altera's automotive and industrial business unit. "Our experience in processing automotive video, graphics and human-machine interfaces combined with National's widely deployed FPD-Link 2 SERDES family delivers automotive manufacturers a proven solution for deploying digital video in their next-generation vehicles."
The next areas of co-operation are likely to be in lane detection and collision detection using cameras and Altera's NIOS II processor core, says Bob Blake, European marketing manager for Altera. “For automotive requirements right now there are certain requirements of low cost and high temperature so a single link like this gives the lowest total cost,” he said.
The reference design (see figure) shows the transmission of a digital video bitstream over a 10-meter CAT6 cable to National's DS90C124 FPD-Link 2 deserializer. The deserializer output interfaces directly to a Cyclone 2 FPGA, which processes the incoming signals and sends the resulting video to a display.
"National has a proven track record for enabling the high-speed data link between video source and sink in automotive applications," said Erroll Dietz, vice president of National's High-Speed Product Division. "Our expertise in mixed-signal IC design, video transport, signal integrity and automotive qualification processes has made National's FPD-Link 2 SERDES products the first choice among major OEMs and tier-1 suppliers for point-to-point data transfer. Altera's proficiency in embedded digital video processing is a natural complement to National's FPD-Link II SERDES."
For more information, visit www.altera.com or www.national.com