Auto Electronics

Xilinx shows scalable 3-D graphics accelerator IP for automotive applications

Programmable logic device vendor Xilinx together with design firm Xylon earlier this month demonstrated a 3-D hardware accelerator intellectual property (IP) core specifically for Xilinx’s XA (Xilinx Automotive) line of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The OpenGL ES 1.1-compatible core, logi3D, provides tier one suppliers with a parameterizable and scalable solution for customized graphics applications.

The new single-screen 3-D graphics solution builds on Xilinx’ 2-D graphics IP core. It consists of a 3-D hardware acceleration IP core, a Xilinx MicroBlaze processor and a display controller, all running on a Xilinx automotive-squalified Spartan-3 XA device. Features such as overlay, texturing and shading can be customized quickly, according to Kevin Tanaka, worldwide automotive marketing and product planning manager in Xilinx’ Automotive Division.

Tanaka said high-end 3-D navigation, hybrid and reconfigurable clusters, multi-use center stack displays, and automotive infotainment all require enhanced processing power as well as automotive-qualified devices. Strategy Analytics expects those markets to grow from approximately 80 million units in 2006, including both OEM and aftermarket, to nearly 100 million units in 2012.

Tanaka said complete solutions, scalability, time-to-market, and quality are all requirements in the automotive electronics segment, and that Xilinx provides IP, interfacing and processors on automotive-qualified FPGAs. “The market is fragmented, without sufficient volume to support the development of dedicated digital signal processors (DSPs) or application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs),” Tanaka added. “Solutions based on soft IP are likely to fill that gap.” A production version of the IP core is expected be available from Xylon in March.

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