Auto Electronics

Toshiba launches next-generation automotive graphics display controller

Toshiba America Electronic Components has introduced the TX4964FG, a system-on-chip (SoC) that targets instrument-cluster applications ranging from back-up camera displays to full-size, reconfigurable instrument clusters.

The device is said to drive and manage the small-size thin-film transistor (TFT) LCD panels increasingly found in instrument clusters in medium- to high-end automobiles. It integrates the CPU, hardware-graphics engine, TFT LCD panel controller, digital-camera interface and frame-buffer memory in a 176-pin QFP package. Its 4 MB of embedded DRAM eliminate the need for external RAM ICs, reducing system-level power and contributing to the small footprint.

"Toshiba developed (the TX4964FG) new IC to support growing demand from vehicle manufacturers to reduce the system cost, complexity and component count of implementing TFT displays in sizes that typically range from three inches to five inches and with up to VGA resolution," said Shardul Kazi, vice president of TAEC’s application specific standard product (ASSP) business unit. He said that center-stack displays are gaining acceptance for navigation systems as drivers accustom themselves to using them and reap the benefits of having needed information inside the dashboard in the driver's focus zone.

The TX4964FG replaces four ICs and reduces design complexity through the integration of a processor, a graphics display controller with dedicated accelerator functions, and onboard peripherals and interfaces. The SoC features Toshiba's MIPS-based, ISA-based TX49/L4 64-bit CPU core operating at 120 MHz. Dedicated hardware engines for cluster graphics can deliver up to 32-bit RGBA colors. The graphic accelerator enhances the display output and offers high-quality anti-aliasing to ensure smooth graphics display. The frame grabber works with a wide variety of input data formats. It captures and processes video images and supports applications such as rear-view monitoring.

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