The road to today’s digital cockpit

In my first car, there was only an AM/FM radio to keep me entertained as I relied on my own memory to get me from point A to point B. The instrument cluster was traditional, with only needles to estimate if I was driving at the speed limit or if I had enough gas for whatever small journey planned that day.

Fast forward to today our lifestyles have become increasingly connected and car manufacturers are determined to ensure that the experience continues as soon as we start our cars. 

Figure 1: Typical digital cockpit applications

We can already see the impact of this technology in the digital cockpits of the latest vehicles (Figure 1):

  • Infotainment systems with 3D navigation and multimedia on high resolution center stacks.
  • Fully digital instrument clusters with rich graphics share information displayed on the center stack, along with integrated surround view and/or driver monitoring systems to enable a more informed driving experience.
  • Audio systems that not only play media from the user’s device but remove ambient noise and vibrations coming from the outside of the car.
  • Head-up displays (HUD) overlay real time conditions and other information on the road using augmented reality (AR) to help drivers stay focused on the road ahead of them.
  • Rear seat entertainment systems to enrich the experience of the passengers.

To enable the connected experience and differentiate themselves, OEMs will are incorporating advanced electronics and software when designing their digital cockpits. OEMs are also integrating the different systems within the cockpit for a seamless user experience while optimizing their costs.

So how is TI helping automotive customers create a richer digital cockpit experience? Like many complex systems, it starts with the processor and its capabilities to enable the features the customers will consider when selecting that new car.

TI’s “Jacinto 6 Plus” is the latest addition to the “Jacinto 6” family of automotive processors, built with the digital cockpit in mind. These processors share the same core platform and architecture as the rest of the “Jacinto” product family. This allows customers and developers to maximize their investment by using the same product platform and software, giving them the ability to scale their designs for entry-level to luxury vehicles and reducing time to market. “Jacinto 6 Plus” processors extend the current “Jacinto 6” family with higher performance to enable customers to add features to help enable a more safe, connected driving experience.

Figure 2: Improved performance from “Jacinto 6 Plus”

“Jacinto 6 Plus” automotive processors enhance the connected car experience by:

  • Simplifying the reuse of existing software and hardware. Apart from upgrades to the system including routing external cameras and connecting additional displays, minimal design change is required.
  • Leveraging the same robust and proven architecture as the rest of the “Jacinto 6” family, reducing time-to-market for OEMs as they scale their designs.
  • Headroom for concurrencies of head-unit features, analytics/image manipulation and multi-domain/multi-OS capabilities provided by increased performance in the ARM-Cortex MPU, C66x DSP, graphics processing unit (GPU), and improved memory speeds (Figure 2).
  • Provides OEMs the ability to integrate digital cockpit applications and features (Figure 1) on a single SoC with robust hypervisor implementation supporting multi-OS and GPU sharing.
  • Supports new innovation with an optimized bill-of-materials by integrating several new IPs such as an image signal processor (ISP), CSI-2 ports and CAN-FD.

The digital cockpit will continue to evolve to support the rising expectation of consumers for an interactive, but not distractive, driving experience. “Jacinto 6 Plus” processors will enable automotive OEMs to support this evolution for a seamlessly connected and rich driving experience.

Learn more about our automotive infotainment products: